Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Faith and Vengeance: the Islamic State’s War in Afghanistan

< 1 min

NewLines, 1 August 2022

In this new study on IS’s franchise in Afghanistan and the death of its leader Zia ul-Haq Zia aka Abu Omar Khorasani, its authors Fazelminallah Qazizai and Chris Sands mention that it has also been informed by “studies from organizations including the Afghanistan Analysts Network, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, the International Crisis Group, the Royal United Services Institute and the United States Institute of Peace.”

It contains some interesting detail such as that Khorasani started as a teacher in Kunar’s Tsaukay district and principal of a local madrassa and later “found work with an international NGO that paid him $500 a month.” And that he – and other inmates of the NDS Directorate 40 prison in Kabul’s “diplomatic enclave” – were actually released by their guards, and not, as it was spread by many media “by the Taleban.” Khorasani was shot by targeted gun fire when about to leave the prison:

Precisely who ordered Khorasani’s assassination and who shot him on Aug. 15 last year may always remain a mystery, but it appears to have been the work of an elite group within the Taliban that has ties to the Haqqani Network and the movement’s intelligence apparatus, not the Red Unit.

Also on other subjects, as Hezb-e Islami’s links with and support for al-Qaeda:

“… after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, Hizb sheltered Osama bin Laden and his deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Khorasani’s home province of Kunar. At a safe house in Iran, meanwhile, it put up Abu Musan al-Zarqawi, the future godfather of the Islamic State central…”