Monitoring Desk: “The stunning rise of IS led many scholars and politicians to suspect that the group was created by Western powers as part of their political recalibration efforts in the Middle East. Da’ish was facilitated to take control of large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, says Prof Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin, President of Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies (ANKASAM)”.
This was observed by foreign experts in a special report “IS-KHORASAN ENTERPRISE: THE AGENT OF CHAOS” written by Naveed Hussain and published by Express Tribube on Sunday.
Report says the West tried to legitimise the terrorist organisation PYD, or Kurdish Democratic Union Party [Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party] on the pretext of fighting Da’ish. [Simply put] the group was brought in for a specific mission, which it has accomplished.
The report indicates:
The so-called Khorasan chapter of the Islamic State group was initially written off by the Taliban as a nuisance. But they were wrong. A string of horrific mass-casualty attacks after the fall of Kabul showed that IS-Khorasan (IS-K) could be the most formidable challenge to the Taliban’s fledgling rule in Afghanistan. The realisation appears to have sunk in as the Taliban are now sizing up the threat.
IS-K was diminished from its zenith due to a series of military defeats beginning in 2018. But the exit of foreign forces has resurrected the group. Its ranks swelled overnight as hundreds of its prisoners returned to the fight after fleeing from Afghan prisons during the Taliban’s chaotic march on Kabul. The Taliban are now morphing into a government from insurgency, but they lack the required resources and expertise. This situation has been exacerbated by a virtual diplomatic boycott by the international community and a brewing humanitarian crisis at home. IS-K might take advantage of the situation, project itself as an anti-government resistance force and inspire other groups to unleash chaos in the country.
The Islamic State, or Da’ish as it is called in Arabic, came to prominence in June 2014 when a former al Qaeda commander Abu Bakr al Baghdadi announced a self-styled caliphate on large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria and anointed himself its caliph. The lure of caliphate backed by sophisticated propaganda helped the group mint thousands of recruits, especially young radicals in the West. It commandeered global spotlight with grisly violence, including barbaric executions and beheadings.
The Islamic State is “one manifestation of a global jihadist enterprise”, says Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Adviser to the President of RAND Corporation. “This was never a single organisation, but a broad movement that has coalesced and fragmented over the past four decades,” he says. “Islamic State is the successor to a one-time affiliate of al Qaeda, although even then there were tensions between the commander of the Iraqi front and al Qaeda’s central leadership over tactics and targeting.”
Dr Michael Barak, Senior Researcher at International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), says IS and al Qaeda are cut from the same cloth as both belong to the Salafi-Jihadist school and both aim to establish a transnational caliphate. They only differ on three issues: 1) Al Qaeda focuses on “Dawah among Muslim communities” for now and is willing to postpone the establishment of a caliphate to a later period. IS, however, wants a caliphate now; 2) Da’ish adheres to a strict interpretation and implementation of the idea of Takfir, declaring a person infidel. Al Qaeda is very cautious with the usage of Takfir not only towards Muslims but also towards non-Muslims; 3) The Islamic State intends to conquer territories to set up a caliphate. Al Qaeda prefers not to take over lands and apply governance to them.