Islamic State Terrorists Regrouped, Morphed and Grew Stronger
Communist China is a major player in the region controlled by ISIS.
Since the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, Washington’s ability to gather intelligence on IS has been drastically degraded, according to senior U.S. military officials.
Political turmoil has fueled anti-U.S. sentiment in Pakistan. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are imposing a rule that harks to their harsh government of the late 1990s.
ISIS is a longtime enemy of the Taliban. The terrorist group opposes any group that does not accept its more radical, deeply anti-Shiite ideology and is notorious for atrocities meant to spread fear. ISIS unlike the Taliban, see their battle as one to establish a unified Muslim world under a caliphate.
Currently, Communist China is trying to achieve impossible. It launched diplomatic offensive to accommodate rival terrorists while preserving good relations with Taliban, it still needs as long as group controls the main roads. By reaching to ISIS, Beijing aims acquire access to natural resources the strategic and foremost goal that prompted it to forge close ties with both terrorist platforms. And some specialists doubt whether Beijing has achieved anything.
Because the threat from ISIS has only become more fluid and difficult to control.
ISIS is now stronger group than three years ago
Dr. Amira Jadoon, assistant professor at the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, said IS-K is weaker than it was in 2019. But it has morphed from an insurgency to a typical terrorist group, a subtle but important difference, she said.
It is now a stronger terrorist group than it was in 2019, but perhaps a weaker ‘insurgency’ compared to its earlier peak years, since it lacks the same level of territorial control and is not controlling any civilian populations, Mr. Jadoon said.
A February U.N. report estimated the number of IS-K fighters at around 4,000 and said it “enjoys more freedom than at any time in recent history.”
ISIS, an increasing threat to Pakistan
But IS-K is not the only extremist group in the region. According to the specialists, others include Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is largely India-focused and Central Asia’s rebel Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
Nevertheless, Islamic States terrorists have sufficient potential and are likely aims to stir up tensions between Islamabad and Kabul. But he said Pakistani authorities still consider the Pakistani Taliban, a homegrown anti-government group, the main threat.
According to the specialists, Pakistan is wrong, and that Islamic States attacks are likely to only increase.