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Why did ISIS-K attack Russia? “Russia supports the Taliban against whom ISIS-K is fighting”

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Everything indicates that one of the ISIS factions managed to organize the attack in which over 130 people died. The so-called cells The Islamic State is resurgent in Afghanistan and is penetrating other Central Asian countries, including former Soviet republics.

Jihadists from the Khorasan province, or ISIS-K for short, are most likely the perpetrators of the attack on a concert hall near Moscow. – The motivations are laid out directly in the programmatic writings of the Islamic State: it is a desire to establish a world caliphate, the idea of ​​which will be to restore the state of affairs from the 7th century – explains Dr. Hab. Łukasz Fyderek from the Institute of the Middle and Far East at the Jagiellonian University.

ISIS-K fighters are exceptionally ruthless. Most of them are partisans and their number is estimated at several thousand people. – Since ISIS in Syria and Iraq was decimated by the US military campaign, ISIS-K has become one of the strongest, if not the strongest, part of the Islamic State – says Dan Byman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University.

Read more: “Extreme brutality” and a long list of enemies. Where did the Russians come from in their sights?

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The terrorist network is spread all over the world and – as representatives of the American uniformed services warn – they are determined to carry out attacks on the broadly understood West. The list of their enemies is long, because every dissenter is an enemy. – From the point of view of jihadists, whether Poles, French, Americans or Russians, they are all unbelievers – explains Fyderek.

American intelligence services claim that they had information about the planned attack in Moscow and directly warned the Kremlin about it, which was ignored. – The provision of such information by American intelligence services is a standard procedure for us. We also warned a few months ago that ISIS-K would attack in Iran, and this attack happened. This is also quite normal – says prof. Matthew Schmidt, a national security expert at the University of New Haven.

ISIS-K has many reasons for wanting to attack Russia. One of them is the relationship between Russians and the Taliban. – These fighters are trying to push Russia out of Afghanistan because Russia supports the Taliban, which ISIS-K is fighting, explains Schmidt.

After the attack in Moscow, concerns are growing in EuropeAndrzej Zaucha/Fakty TVN

ISIS-K threatens Russia with new attacks

Last year, terrorists attacked the Russian embassy in Kabul. Two representatives of the diplomatic mission were killed. – Russia supported Syria during the civil war, and on the other side of this dispute was the Islamic State. Russia is therefore perceived as a country fighting jihadists. As for ISIS-K itself, it is very critical of the Taliban. The Taliban, in turn, are blamed for too close relations with Russia. That's why ISIS-K attacked the Russian embassy in Kabul, Byman explains.

Experts say that the attackers could have taken advantage of the inattention of the Russian services. – For years, Russia was quite a difficult target because there was a strict anti-terrorist regime there due to the omnipresence of the security services, but in the last two years this attention has been redirected to Ukraine – Fyderek points out.

See also: White House: the so-called The Islamic State is a common terrorist enemy

As CNN mentions, the connections of Khorasan province with the parent organization are not entirely clear. Neither ISIS-K's command structure nor the depth of relations with other jihadist militias is known. However, it is clearly visible that after the Taliban overthrew the Afghan government, their power is growing. “There is concern that this group is becoming more and more dangerous, especially against targets that are not just related to Afghanistan,” Byman notes.

A few days before the attack in Russia, one of the American generals warned Congress. “I assess that ISIS-Khorasan retains the ability and will to attack U.S. and Western interests abroad in as little as six months with little or no warning,” Gen. Michael Kurilla said.

The group announced further attacks in Russia.

Author:Justyna Zuber

acts about the world TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/Maksym Shipenkov



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