Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

In Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, violence is committed by all sides

< 1 min

The New Arab, 25 January 2018

The website article quotes from “former Afghanistan Analysts Network researcher, Borhan Osman, who now works with Crisis Group International” who

… gives one of the most detailed accounts of how ISKP came to be:

“In late January 2015, the Islamic State announced its expansion into Khorasan province. The elements of what would become IS Khorasan Provinces (ISKP) main contingent had, however, long existed on the Afghan battlefield. Although the first case of an ISKP presence that grabbed public attention took place in Helmand that January (as discussed below), the actual IS vanguards emerged from Nangarhar province. The IS fighters who pioneered the Khorasan franchise of the IS were Pakistani militants who had long been settled in the southeastern districts of Nangarhar, in the Spin Ghar mountains or its foothills, bordering the tribal agencies on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line.

Before choosing to join ISKP, these militants operated under different brands, mainly under the umbrella of the ever-loosening Tehrik-e Taleban Pakistan (TTP). The bulk of these militants had been arriving in Nangarhar since 2010 mainly from the Orakzai, North Waziristan and Khyber tribal agencies. According to local residents, the first groups of Pakistani militants arrived in Nangarhar from Orakzai following an operation by the Pakistani army that year. They moved into Afghanistan, often with their families, apparently to flee military operations by the Pakistani army. They settled in Achin, Nazian, Kot, Deh Bala, Rodat and Ghanikhel districts, among others. Calling themselves muhajerin (refugees) in search of shelter, they invoked support from the local communities in Nangarhar who deemed it their moral obligation to extend a helping hand to their Pashtun brothers escaping violence in their hometowns. The refugees also opened madrasas and schools for their children in Achin and Nazian.”