Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Islamic State attack claim signals escalation by group in Afghanistan

< 1 min

Stars and Stripes, 14 January 2016

Quotes from AAN’s Thomas Ruttig in this article about the IS claim for the suicide attack against the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad:

If the Jalalabad attack proves to have been carried out by Islamic State militants, it would be significant, said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghan Analysts Network. Given the history of groups erroneously claiming attacks in Afghanistan to increase their profile, however, the statement should be approached with caution.

And the group is still made up mostly of fighters who simply switched allegiance from the Taliban or other insurgent groups, so they have not yet significantly increased pressure on Afghan forces, he said.

“Militarily, it’s not a different thing, whether you fight with a black flag or a white flag,” he said in reference to the Islamic State and Taliban flags, respectively.