Report notes growing presence of ISIL-K in Afghanistan and warns of its ‘global agenda’
An estimated 6,000-6,500 members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar are reportedly based in Afghanistan and pose a threat to both countries, a new U.N. report has warned.
The 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team on activities of the Islamic State militant group, Al Qaeda, and associated groups said that the TTP leadership was operating from Afghanistan and had claimed responsibility for various high-profile attacks in Pakistan.
The report said that many former TTP militants had joined Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan (ISIL-K) and member states believed the group and its various splinter groups would align themselves with it.
The report also warned about the growing presence of the ISIL-K in Afghanistan, claiming that the group had now adopted a global agenda that posed a risk to countries far beyond Afghanistan. It said that the ISIL-K considers Afghan territory as a base for spreading terrorist influence across the wider region.
Al Qaeda, says the report, is covertly active in 12 Afghan provinces and its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is also based in Afghanistan. It claims that there are between 400 and 600 Al Qaeda fighters currently based in Afghanistan.
The U.N. report also warns of a strong presence of ISIL-India in Kerala and Karnataka, noting that the militant group had first come into the global limelight after the Easter bombing in Sri Lanka. It said that there was reason to be concerned about the growth of ISIL-India, particularly in south India and its threat to neighboring states.
According to diplomatic sources there is now pressure on India to curb financing from ISIL-India to its affiliates in line with recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force to prevent terrorist financing.