Wed, 28 Oct 2020

Afghans Claim to Have Captured Top IS Commanders

Voice of America
12 May 2020, 05:05 GMT+10

ISLAMABAD - Afghanistan's intelligence agency claimed Monday it has captured three senior Islamic State commanders who were directing the terror group's operations in parts of Asia.

The National Directorate of Security (NDS) identified one of the detainees as Afghan national Zia-ul-Haq, also known as Abu Omar Khorasani, saying he was the "Daesh (IS) leader for South and Far East Asia."

The statement used the Arabic acronym for the Middle East-based extremist group. It described the other two detainees as the heads of IS public relations and intelligence operations for South Asia.

The Afghan spy agency said information gleaned from recently detained IS operatives prompted Afghan security forces to undertake the counterterrorism raid in different parts of Kabul, capturing the three men. It did not say when the action was conducted.

Islamic State calls its regional affiliate IS Khorasan Province (ISKP), which has carried out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and surrounding countries.

NDS forces have carried out frequent raids in recent weeks against suspected IS cells in the Afghan capital. One of the raids last month resulted in the arrest of a central ISK-P leader, Abdullah Orakzai, also known as Aslam Farooqi, along with 19 of his associates.

ISK-P bases in Afghanistan continue to pose a key security challenge to local forces and counterterrorism operations the United States is undertaking in the country.

Washington has recently signed a landmark peace-building deal with the Taliban insurgency, hoping an end to decades of hostilities would help unite all Afghan factions to fight IS and prevent it from establishing strong bases in the country to launch transnational terrorist attacks.

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