Daesh focuses on attracting disillusioned Taliban, foreign fighters: SIGAR

Citing the UN sanctions monitoring team’s findings, the US Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) stated that the Daesh Khorasan is seeking to recruit non-Salafists and disillusioned Taliban and foreign fighters.

The Watchdog revealed in the report also noted a top U.S. official as saying that the Daesh Khorasan “retains the capability and will to attack U.S. and Western interests abroad in as little as six months and with little to no warning.”

“ISIS-K continued to recruit in Afghanistan and across the region, and promote foreign nationals’ involvement in its attacks,” the report reads. “A UN sanctions monitoring team said, ISIL-K [ISIS-K] adopted a more inclusive recruitment strategy, welcoming non-Salafists and focusing on attracting disillusioned Taliban and foreign fighters, and the recruitment of Afghans was substantial.”

A Georgetown University professor and Center for Strategic and International Studies senior fellow, Daniel Byman, told SIGAR that the Daesh also “gathered fighters from Central Asia and the Caucasus under its wing, and they may be responsible for the Moscow attack, either directly or via their own networks.”

The Taliban’s “efforts against the Daesh, the report mentioned from Jerome Drevon, an International Crisis Group senior analyst, “appear to be more focused on the internal threat posed to them than the external operations of the group.”

Jerome Drevon argued that as Taliban’s campaigns against Daesh Khorasan decreased domestic attacks, ISIS-K became more dependent on their international networks.

On the other hand, SIGAR revealed that the Taliban’s establishment of madrassas has continued during this quarter,with the total number to 6,836 for males and 380 for females.

“From November 2023 to February 2024, a Taliban-reported 2,464 students graduated from Taliban-registered madrassas, including 128 female graduates,” the report cited, adding that the figures were the first to be provided by the Taliban since seizing control of the country.

The Taliban also maintained recruiting teachers for madrassas, following their “supreme leader’s July 2023 decree, which mandated the recruitment of 100,000 madrassa teachers across the country.”

Meanwhile, the political analysts warned that the Taliban’s graduates from the madrassas trained by its repressive ideologies are major threats to the future of Afghanistan.