The U.S. Treasury Department has announced a new round of counterterrorism designations targeting the Islamic State’s support networks in Turkey, Afghanistan and the Gulf.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide bombing at a hotel where a wedding party was celebrating. ISIS-K claims the bombing operation was two-part. After a suicide bomber detonated himself inside the hotel, a car bomb was detonated outside.
According to a recently released report submitted to the UN Security Council, the Islamic State’s central leadership replaced the group’s head in Afghanistan earlier this year. The leadership change reportedly occurred after an Islamic State “core delegation” visited the country.
Earlier today, the Islamic State’s Khorasan “province” attacked a memorial held in honor of Abdul Ali Mazari, an ethnic Hazara leader who was killed by the Taliban in 1995. The Islamic State’s loyalists frequently target Shiites in the Afghan capital.
According to the UN’s Jan. 2019 assessment, al Qaeda’s relationship with the Taliban is “long-standing” and “strong.” And al Qaeda “continues to see Afghanistan as a safe haven for its leadership.” The UN estimates that the Islamic State has several thousand fighters in Afghanistan as well.
A team of nine Islamic State jihadists launched a mortar attack in Kabul yesterday as President Ashraf Ghani was delivering a speech. NATO’s Resolute Support touts the efficacy of the Afghans’ response, but the Islamic State’s network continues to regularly launch operations in the Afghan capital.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that struck near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul only minutes after Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum passed through the area.
According to a State Department report published this week, the Taliban continues “to assassinate and threaten religious leaders with death for preaching messages contrary to” its “interpretation of Islam or its political agenda.” As part of its widespread assassination campaign, Taliban gunmen have been killing “imams and other religious officials throughout the country.”