The U.S. military continues to recycle stale estimates of Al Qaeda’s strength in Afghanistan, and elevate the Islamic State as a greater threat.
Sanaullah Ghafar, who is also known as Shabab al-Muhajir, has been identified as an “ambitious new leader” of the Islamic State Khorasan Province. His challenge is to hold off the vastly superior Taliban, which controls Afghanistan.
The Taliban has the advantage in all of the key areas, save one. The Taliban has state sponsors, terrorist allies, regional support, a marked superiority in weapons and numbers, and controls all of Afghanistan. ISKP can only match the Taliban in one area, and this the will to fight and persevere.
The Islamic State’s Afghan arm detonated three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Kabul earlier today. The first bomb struck a bus carrying civilians, while the second two were detonated after security forces and journalists made their way to the scene.
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.”