ISKP’s Global Expansion: Attacks in Turkey and Iran, and Their Link to Central Asia

The Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan is engaged in a global conflict

The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), an offshoot of the extremist group that established a “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, has been carrying out attacks beyond Afghanistan, targeting countries like Turkey and Iran. The group has enemies like America and China and has been recruiting individuals from Central Asian countries. Its global ambitions became apparent on March 22nd when gunmen attacked a concert in Moscow, killing 139 people. ISKP has not been formally recognized by any government due to its oppressive restrictions on female education.

Despite ISKP’s existence for nine years mainly targeting Afghans, its presence in Russia is considered a threat by American officials. Suspects from Tajikistan were later arrested by Russia, highlighting the group’s global reach. ISKP has also been blamed for attacks against countries supplying aid to Syria, where its parent organization was dismantled by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Though estimates of ISKP’s strength vary, it is believed to have around 2,000 to 5,000 members. Its ability to connect with disaffected individuals is considered its strength, with its current leader being Shahab al-Muhajir, a 29-year-old of Arab descent. Despite limited information about its leader, ISKP is now under global scrutiny.

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