ISIS-K leader reportedly living in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province

Sanaullah Ghaffari, also known as Shahab al-Muhajar, is reportedly the ISIS-Khorasan (Daesh) branch leader and is holed up in Pakistan, Reuters reports.

The 29-year-old took over as leader in 2020 and under his leadership the group has carried out extreme attacks as a means of recruiting, Reuters reported.

Reuters noted that little was known about Ghafari before the deadly 2021 ISIS attack on Kabul Airport, which killed 170 Afghan civilians and 13 American soldiers.

But after Friday’s deadly attack in a concert hall in Moscow, which left 139 people dead, Ghaffari’s group has come under intense scrutiny.

Reuters reports that Ghaffari is said to have been involved in several attacks in Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Pakistan.

Pakistani officials said months ago that Ghaffari had been killed in Kunar province in Afghanistan in June last year, but Reuters has reported that he did not die and instead fled to Pakistan and lives in the border province of Baluchistan.

Abdul Matin Qani, the spokesman of the Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan, says that Daesh has been suppressed in Afghanistan for more than two years and has lost its operational capacity.

The last attack carried out by Daesh in Afghanistan was the attack on the Kabul Bank office in Kandahar last week which left three dead and 12 wounded.