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IS in Afghanistan seeking to expand to Central Asia: Russia

07 Nov 2019 1TV News

Islamic State militant group in Afghanistan is seeking to expand to Central Asia, head of Russia's Federal Security Service has said.

"We have recorded a surge in activity of ISIS units in Afghanistan, united in the so-called Wilayah Khorasan,” Alexander Bortnikov said at the Council of the Heads of Security Agencies and Intelligence Services of the Central Asian states.

“Jamaat Ansarullah and the Turkistan Islamic Movement are closely cooperating with it. Their goal is to create a springboard to expand into CIS territory, with militants out of citizens of the Central Asian republics who have combat experience within international terrorist organizations as its main force," the official said.

Al-Qaeda also uses the potential of the Turkistan Islamic Movement in Afghanistan to form combat and propaganda factions out of its members, the official said.

He added that due to their looming defeat in Syria and Iraq, international terrorist organizations are hastily withdrawing their remaining forces from the Middle East and are creating new zones of instability in Asia and Africa, as well as creating a network of sleeper cells in Europe.

The Afghan affiliate of IS first appeared in 2014, in the eastern Nangarhar province and has carried out some bloody attacks in Kabul and other cities.

Russia’s warning comes despite the killing of IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi last month, with the Afghan government saying it would weaken its branch in the country.

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