The Islamic State Remains Alive In Afghanistan
In early April, Afghan forces captured the latest head of ISKP — but will it matter?
By Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska
Akhmad, 26, was exhausted and dizzy. Kandahar was hot and for the past six days and nights his unit of 50 men had been working around the clock. The National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s primary intelligence agency, had been planning the operation for a while and Akhmad realized that the stakes were high. Intelligence sources suggested that in early April, the leadership of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), the local branch of the Salafist armed group, was gathering in Kandahar to discuss the movement’s future. In the previous months, after a prolonged U.S. and Afghan military operation, ISKP had lost its main stronghold in Nangarhar, close to the Pakistani border. Much of the group’s leadership was killed or captured...