In Dari-Language Article On Moscow Concert Attack, Afghan Daily Warns That Western Support For Afghan Taliban Rulers Has Strengthened Jihadi Organizations Like ISIS, Al-Qaeda, TTP, ETIM, Ansarullah Of Tajikistan, And Others

Following the March 22, 2024 attack on the Crocus City Hall music venue in Moscow, in which an estimated 137 people were killed and for which the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility, Hasht-e-Subh, a prominent independent daily in Afghanistan, has warned that support for the Afghan Taliban government has led to the strengthening of a range of jihadi organizations, such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and others.

The Dari-language article, “Spreading ISIS Attacks and Strengthening Al-Qaeda – Supporting the Taliban Increases Terrorist Attacks,” examines the opinions of many opponents of the Afghan Taliban and analyzes media reports about the Moscow attack. It states: “The Islamic Movement of East Turkestan, Ansarullah of Tajikistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and dozens of other groups in Afghanistan have the support of the [ruling Afghan] Taliban, and many of them have taken the Afghanistan tazkira [identity card] and married local women.”

Following are excerpts from the article, as translated from Dari:

“Many Reports Of The United Nations Security Council Also Show That More Than 20 Terrorist Groups, Including Al-Qaeda, Are Safe In Afghanistan, And Are Planning Trans-Regional And Global Goals”

“After Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, the opponents of this group [the ruling Afghan Taliban] and some countries expressed concern about the presence of terrorist groups under the rule of the Taliban. Many reports of the United Nations Security Council show that more than 20 terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, are safe in Afghanistan and have trans-regional and global goals.

“One of the groups whose activities increased during the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, and the region, is the Khurasan branch of ISIS. This group has taken responsibility for dozens of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, and several attacks in Iran in the past two years, as a result of which hundreds of people have been killed and injured.

“Last Thursday [March 21], the Khurasan branch of ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on the office of New Kabul Bank in Kandahar province, which resulted in the deaths of 43 people and the injuring of 56 others. This attack was met with widespread internal and external reactions, including by the United Nations Security Council, and the Taliban also condemned it.

“After the deadly attack in Kandahar, ISIS has taken responsibility for attacking a concert in the suburbs of Moscow, the capital of Russia; but it is not clear yet which branch of ISIS executed this attack. As of this writing, the death toll of this ISIS attack was announced by the Russian Investigative Committee as 133, and the number of injured 147. According to Russia’s claim, 11 suspects and four attackers of this deadly attack were arrested; they were planning to go to the border of Ukraine.

“While Russia has not said anything about ISIS’s claim, U.S. anti-terrorism officials have said that the Khurasan branch of ISIS, based in Afghanistan, is behind the Moscow attack. An American official told the Washington Post that ISIS had been focusing on Russia for two years and had been planning an attack on Moscow for some time.”

“Forces Opposing The Taliban Have Compared The ISIS Attack On Moscow, Which Was Carried Out By ISIS, With The Taliban’s Attacks In Afghanistan”

“ISIS’s attack on the Crocus concert hall in the suburbs of Moscow, in addition to widespread international reactions, has also attracted the reaction of the opponents of the Taliban. The opponents of this group have considered this attack as a ‘copy’ of attacks by the Taliban and ISIS attacks in Afghanistan. In separate statements, a number of figures and forces opposing the Taliban have compared the ISIS attack on Moscow, which was executed by the ISIS, with the Taliban’s attacks in Afghanistan.

“Amrullah Saleh, the former vice president of Afghanistan, has said that what he saw of the ISIS attack in Moscow on social networks is ‘shockingly similar to what the Taliban was doing.’ He emphasized that Moscow’s attack is a ‘copy-paste of the brutality of the Taliban, and the creation of Khurasan by the ISIS group in Afghanistan.

“In a statement, the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan called the Moscow incident a ‘terrorist attack.’ This Front said: ‘Terrorism is purposefully and systematically moving toward Central Asia and the Russian Federation.’ At the same time, the Afghanistan Freedom Front also called the ISIS attack in Moscow ‘terrorist,’ and said: ‘Many times we have seen terrorist attacks in Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, the main factor of which is undoubtedly the dominance of one of these terrorist groups, the Taliban, over Afghanistan.’ Saeed Tayeb Jawad, the former ambassador of Afghanistan in Russia, also wrote: ‘The perpetrators of this barbarity are the terrorists who have nests in Afghanistan.’

“Rahmatullah Nabil, the former Head of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security [NDS, the former Afghan intelligence agency], wrote in a tweet that the world must have come to the conclusion that ‘there is no such thing as a good terrorist and they should not deceive themselves anymore.’ He emphasized that the alarm of terrorism has sounded in the region, and united efforts should be made to deal with this phenomenon.

“On the other hand, some figures of the previous government, including Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, have condemned this attack. Karim Khorram, one of the people close to Hamid Karzai, wrote: ‘We are very worried about the spread of insecurity in the region. I have already said that if no solution is considered, it will end here.’ Apparently, he is referring to the Taliban’s support of ‘regional terrorist groups.’

“The Findings [By Hasht-E-Subh]… Show That The Islamic Movement Of East Turkestan, Ansarullah Of Tajikistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan And Dozens Of Other Groups In Afghanistan Have The Support Of The [Ruling Afghan] Taliban, And Many Of Them Have Taken The Afghanistan Tazkira [National ID Cards] And Married Local Women”

“Previously, Hasht-e-Subh newspaper revealed in an investigative report that the Taliban have widely supported foreign jihadists in Afghanistan. The findings … show that the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan, Ansarullah of Tajikistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and dozens of other groups in Afghanistan have the support of the [ruling Afghan] Taliban, and many of them have taken the Afghanistan tazkira [i.e., national ID cards] and married local women.

“In addition to internal reactions, some countries in the region have adopted strict security measures after this attack. Kassym Jomart Tokayev, the president of Kazakhstan, ordered that security measures be strengthened in his country, and said that cooperation with other countries to fight terrorism should be increased.

“The Taliban regime has also condemned the ISIS attack in Moscow. The foreign ministry of this group has called the deadly ISIS attack on the Crocus concert hall in Russia, ‘terrorist.’ Calling an ISIS attack in Russia by the Taliban ‘terrorist’ has provoked the reaction of one of the former officials of Iran.

“Muhammad Reza Bahrami, the former ambassador of Iran in Kabul, responded to this action of the Taliban, and said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Taliban called the Moscow attack terrorist, but… it refused to use this term about the [2024] Kerman explosions. He wrote that the Taliban ’emphasized that this word was produced by the West and a tool to put pressure on Islamic countries.’ In the ISIS attack in Kerman, Iran, nearly 100 people were killed and more than 300 people were injured.”

“UN Security Council Has Previously Said In A Report That The Al-Qaeda Network Has Established Eight Training Camps In Ghazni, Laghman, Parwan, And Uruzgan Provinces, And A Base For Storing Weapons In Panjshir”

“At the same time… [a foreign media report] quoted a confidential diplomatic report and wrote that the Taliban provide everything from women to weapons… according to this report, Al-Qaeda’s monthly share is 25 million dollars from the income of gold mines in two provinces [Takhar and Badakhshan]…

“The faction of Sirajuddin Haqqani in Kabul and the faction of Mullah Hibbatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Taliban in Kandahar, are among the branches of the Taliban group, which share the money from the gold mining of Badakhshan and Takhar mines with Al-Qaeda, and each of them seeks to secure their relations with this network.

“In a confidential report, a British company has identified 14 Al-Qaeda affiliates who directly benefit from mining revenues. These people include seven people inside Afghanistan, and seven others in different countries of the world… These concerns are raised while the United Nations Security Council had previously said in a report that the Al-Qaeda network has established eight training camps in Ghazni, Laghman, Parwan, and Uruzgan provinces, and a base for storing weapons in Panjshir.”

Source: (Afghanistan), March 24, 2024.