Terrorist group activities in Afghanistan increase international terrorism threats: CIS

MOSCOW — Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries identified global terrorist organizations and cyberattacks as common threats during a recent meeting, according to Russian news agency TASS. The session, held on Wednesday in Moscow, focused on combating “terrorism and extremism.”

“During the meeting, assessments were made of the situation in countering terrorism and extremism in the CIS space. There was an exchange of anti-terrorist experience. A set of measures to strengthen and develop cooperation was defined,” the press service of the CIS Anti-Terrorist Center said.

“The key factors influencing the emergence and development of terrorist threats to the Commonwealth’s member-states are the activity of international terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, in the Syrian-Iraqi zone, as well as events in Ukraine and the Middle East,” the participants in the meeting said.

Despite the Taliban’s claims of suppressing Daesh in Afghanistan and asserting that no terrorist group in the country poses a threat to foreign nations, a recent ISIS attack at a concert hall in the Moscow suburbs was attributed to ISIS Khorasan based in Afghanistan, killing more than 140 people and injuring dozens.

TASS reported that the CIS countries have seen an increase in terrorist threats coinciding with illegal arms trafficking, significantly boosting “criminal activities” in these states.

The meeting also highlighted the ongoing risk of cyberattacks against information infrastructures, industrial control systems, fuel, energy facilities, and transport networks within their territories.

CIS member countries added that terrorist groups are using the internet to radicalize youth, plan, launch, and finance their operations through online platforms.

Furthermore, they noted that these groups promote ideas and “views of hatred” to create divisions among people, religions, and nationalities.

In a contrasting statement, Taliban Deputy Political Chief Abdul Kabir recently claimed that Daesh had been quelled in Afghanistan, accusing some regional elements of exaggerating the group’s presence and threat.

However, an ISIS Khorasan attack on the new Kabul Bank in Kandahar recently resulted in 21 deaths and numerous injuries. Days after the attack, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that the attack targeted Taliban members congregating at the bank to collect their salaries.