The Global Terrorism Index of 2019 by the independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human wellbeing and progress, The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) wrote already in 2019 about conflicts that remain the primary driver of terrorism.
We do know that the ten countries with the highest impact of terrorism are all engaged in at least one armed conflict.
With the years Afghanistan managed to replace Iraq as the country most affected by terrorism, recording a 59 per cent increase in terrorism deaths to 7,379 in 2018. The increase is closely aligned with the increasing intensity of the civil war. Even when U.S. troops and allied forces tried to prevent terrorism from hitting civilians, several citizens had to face regularly the horror of terrorist groups.
There has been a constant increase in both terrorism and battlefield deaths over the past 2 decades as the security situation continued to deteriorate. Total deaths from terrorism in Afghanistan in 2018 had increased by 631 per cent since 2008.
Other than Afghanistan only three other countries recorded a substantial increase in deaths from terrorism in 2018: Nigeria, Mali, and Mozambique. Each of these countries recorded more than 100 additional deaths.
In January 2015 within Afghanistan, there were Islamist fundamentalists who found the Taliban was too soft and did not bring the Sharia Law into practice enough. Several members of Daesh managed to attract Afghanis to join them to break the American occupation. They formed a slowly growing group in the Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan and bordering Logar, Kabul, Laghman and Kunar provinces as well as an international border with Pakistan.
In the last quarter of the previous century the Afghan mujahideen and smaller Shi’ite and Maoist groups fought a nine-year guerrilla war against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviet Army. This battle throughout the 1980s, mostly in the Afghan countryside, could cause enough turbulence to wake up the Western world from time to time. As in previous other wars, like in Iran and Iraq it was again the interfering United States of America that provided weapons to those rebellions. But the Pakistani-trained mujahideen received not only funding from the United States but also from Saudi Arabia. Many Arab fighters from the Arab World had been fighting against the government forces of Mohammad Najibullah, who ultimately defeated them near Jalalabad. In April 1992, the son of a prominent Pashtun family and a military official who was president of Afghanistan from 1986 had to resign in 1992 as President and the various mujahideen took control over the country.
On 24 April 1992, the Peshawar Accords were announced, by several but not all Afghan mujahideen parties. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, leader of Hezb-e Islami militia, had since March 1992 opposed these attempts at a coalition government. The mujahideen turned guns on each other and started a nationwide Civil War (1992–1996). Several times some of those militant groups formed coalitions and often broke them again. By mid-1994, Kabul’s original population of two million had dropped to 500,000. In 1995–96, the new militia, the Taliban, supported by Pakistan and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had grown to be the strongest force. The ISI with funding from Saudi Arabia provided strategic support and intelligence to the Afghan Taliban against the Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic National Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan during the Afghan Civil War in the 1990s.
First having provided weapons to those rebellious groups the U.S.A. found itself fighting against the top echelon or Al Qaeda Core leadership after 9/11. From 2001 they became their main target in Afghanistan, including AQ leader Ayman al Zawahiri and his deputies, an advisory council of about ten individuals, and members of various AQ committees such as military operations and finance. In September 2019, the White House announced that U.S. forces killed Hamza bin Laden, son of AQ founder Osama bin Laden and a rising leader in the group, “in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region.”
Though, since 1996 there was knowledge of the establishment of al-Qaeda training camps in Nangarhar province, an April 2021 report from the American Department of Defense (DOD) estimated that AQ core leaders in Afghanistan “posed a limited threat” because they “focus primarily on survival.”
The U.S.–Taliban agreement committed the Taliban to prevent any group, including Al Qaeda, from using Afghan soil to threaten the security of the United States or its allies. The Taliban reportedly issued orders in February 2021 barring their members from sheltering foreign fighters, but otherwise do not appear to have taken tangible steps that might constitute a break in ties with Al Qaeda. AQ sympathizers have celebrated the Taliban’s takeover and the Taliban have reportedly freed prisoners, including AQ
Since its inception, ISIS-K has attracted militants who had fallen out with various other insurgencies in Afghanistan and now this group, which is more extreme in its views on women and religious minorities, has put its stamp on the capital of Afghanistan.
Unlike the Taliban, which doesn’t have ambitions beyond Afghanistan, ISIS-K is part of a larger group that is intent on spreading its ideology around the world. For them, it is clear the whole earth has to be cleansed of the “unbelieving”. If the Taliban is not returning to its ideologies of twenty years ago, ISIS-K shall not accept them to bring Afghanistan to more free rules not in accordance with the Islamic State fundamentalist rules and ways of life. All those not adapting to such a way of life shall not be tolerated to live in their nation. For ISIS-K there is no place for infidels.
Attack on Kabul’s airport
A scene of carnage in Afghanistan
The risk of potential suicide attacks by ISIS-K had already led the US to establish alternative routes to Kabul airport, earlier on in the evacuation operation, but what many countries feared still could happen. Two bombs killed lots of people at the grounds around the airport.
ISI-K killed innocent civilians
After the chaos we came to see the last few days the world got shocked by the deadly blasts which came as the United States and other Western countries raced to complete a massive evacuation of their citizens and Afghan allies following the Taliban takeover of the country.
US President Joe Biden, speaking from the White House, called the troops “heroes” and said he was
“outraged as well as heartbroken.”
this attack was clearly a warning sign for the American and other foreign troops, but mostly ISI-K killed innocent civilians who were no soldiers, but children and their parents.
In a subdued but firm tone, Biden said he’s asked the US military for options to respond to the explosions, which he said had been carried out by the Islamic State affiliate operating in Afghanistan.
“We will respond with force and precision at our time, at the place we choose and the moment of our choosing,”
“Here’s what you need to know: These ISIS terrorists will not win.”
Kabir Taneja, a fellow at New Delhi-based think tank Observer Research Foundation, says that ISIS-K
“Ironically call the Taliban a puppet regime of the U.S.”
While ISIS-K is not as powerful as the Taliban, experts say its motivation in attacking Kabul’s airport was re-establishing its relevance in the region.
“They wanted to make the Taliban look bad and incapable, as they are in-charge of Kabul now,”
says Saurav Sarkar, a security specialist and former visiting fellow at the Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C. think-tank.
“And in the process, attract attention to gain more recruits.”
Now, in addition to evacuating thousands of people who desperately want to leave Afghanistan, Biden has tasked the military with another mission: hunting down and punishing the ISIS terrorists who killed Americans and scores of Afghan civilians. Biden wants them to conduct both missions under the very present threat of further attacks, which military leaders said earlier could come in vehicles or by rocket at any moment.
Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie who was not surprised by this cruel attack, warned that additional attacks from ISIS were still likely, including using vehicles or rockets.
Over the past days, the risks of a terror attack at the airport seemed to grow by the hour. The extremely high threat from ISIS caused the US, along with the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia, to warn people to move away from the airport gates late Wednesday eastern time.
The risk of potential terror attacks from the Islamic State affiliate operating in Afghanistan worried American and Western officials from nearly the moment it became clear that the Taliban would take over the country on August 15.
Once crowds began massing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, the fear among officials monitoring the situation became acute of an attack meant to create mayhem and fear among those trying to escape the country.
That is what happened on Thursday. McKenzie said he suspected a suicide bomber was being searched by American servicemen at the airport before detonating the explosive. For McKenzie it is clear that the Taliban is not behind the bombing because it does not fit their strategy.
Taliban leaders have a practical reason for wanting us to get out of here by the 31st of August, and that’s they want to reclaim the airfield.
he says and adds
We want to get out by that day too if it’s going to be possible to do so. So we share a common purpose. So as long as we’ve kept that common purpose aligned, they’ve been useful to work with.”
The coming days shall show how words of all parties become a reality and how the Taliban shall really become concentrating on forming a democratic country with respect for human rights.
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