ISIL Could Boost Afghan Taliban Prestige, Resources

© AP Photo / Pakistani Taliban handoutThe Taliban fighters
The Taliban fighters - Sputnik International
If the Afghan Taliban and its affiliates take up the ISIL banner, they would get a higher profile and perhaps be able to recruit people and gather funds more easily, according to Independent Institute Center on Peace and Liberty Director Ivan Eland.


Fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) during a parade in Raqqa, Syria - Sputnik International
ISIL Issues ID Cards to Beleaguered Members to Ease Travel
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Afghan Taliban and its affiliates could enhance their hardcore Muslim credentials, recruiting efforts and fundraising by publicly touting a relationship with the Islamic State (ISIL), experts told Sputnik on Tuesday.

“If some Islamist radicals [in Afghanistan] take up the ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] banner, they would get a higher profile and perhaps be able to recruit people and gather funds more easily,” Independent Institute Center on Peace and Liberty Director Ivan Eland said.

The situation would likely deteriorate only at the margins from a partnership with the ISIL, Eland argued, because radical Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters have already established a strong base in Afghanistan.

National security lawyer Bradley Moss said the various terrorist elements within Afghanistan could form an informal and temporary alliance with the ISIL that would help them in attracting more people and funds.

Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers stand guard at the main gate of the Parwan Detention Facility Center on the outskirts of Bagram, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Kabul, Afghanistan - Sputnik International
Islamic State Presence in Afghanistan Remains Insignificant - Pentagon
“That would raise the specter of Al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan gaining resources and renewed prestige by mere association with ISIS,” Moss added.

If the Islamic radical force becomes strong enough to topple the Afghan government, the spillover effect could bring the threat of Islamic radicalism to Russia’s doorstep, Moss said.

Eland also warned that Russia’s security might be adversely affected because Islamist radical advances in Afghanistan could spill over the border and destabilize Russia’s neighbors.

Alexei Arbatov, the head of the Center for International Security of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that there is a risk that militants from the ISIL, al-Qaeda and Taliban could all merge together in Afghanistan and that would pose a serious threat to Russia's security. - Sputnik International
Possible Merge of ISIL, al-Qaeda, Taliban Poses Threat to Russia
On Saturday, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said the ISIL could affect the situation in Afghanistan as it tries to expand its influence and persuade local radicals to join its camp.

US officials have said that the ISIL presence in Afghanistan is still insignificant, although they are aware of efforts by Taliban members to rebrand themselves as ISIL affiliates.

The ISIL militants have seized large areas of Iraq and Syria and have declared a caliphate there, attracting thousands of foreign fighters. Armed groups in other Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan and Libya, have announced their allegiance to the ISIL.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала