ISLAMIC STATE KHORASAN (ISIS-K) (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     26th March 2024        
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Context: Recently, the Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) attacked Moscow’s famous Crocus City Hall, killing at least 143 people, and injuring hundreds more.

Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K)

  • About: ISIS-K emerged in late 2014 in eastern Afghanistan, becoming one of the most active ISIS-affiliates.

oOrigins: 'Khorasan' refers to an ancient caliphate in the region, spanning parts of Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkmenistan.

  • Composition: Comprising former Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) fighters and others pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS-K gained notoriety for extreme brutality.
  • Financial Support and Training: Labeled one of the top four deadliest terrorist organizations in 2018, ISIS-K received $100 million in funds and training from ISIS central leadership in Iraq and Syria.
  • Expansion Beyond Afghanistan: ISIS-K has expanded operations outside Afghanistan, recruiting foreign fighters from South Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Europe.
  • Reasons for Targeting: Russia's growing ties with the Taliban have made it a target for ISIS-K, given the bitter enmity between ISIS-K and the Taliban due to sectarian differences.
  • Afghanistan as Strategic Importance: Afghanistan provides Russia with access to new trade routes amid Western sanctions, while the Taliban seeks international recognition and support, refraining from criticizing Russia on the Ukraine conflict.
  • Why attack Russia? Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fifth term in office and the group openly oppose Putin due to his alleged mistreatment of Muslims in Russia, for years.
Samadhaan