Kabul bombers ISIS-K to recruit Brit fighters to train in Afghan ‘terror camps’ & plot attacks on West, warns expert
Afghanistan is set to become the new home of international Islamic terrorism in the wake of the Taliban’s resurgence – which has been described as the “greatest jihadist victory” of all time.
ISIS-K – a splinter cell of the evil terror group – yesterday committed their first attack since Afghanistan fell as they detonated two devices among desperate families attempting to escape the war-torn nation.
US and UK officials had warned about the “imminent” threat posed by the terror group just hours before the attack which left scores of men, women, children dead along with four US Marines, while Brits are “highly likely” to have died as well.
It is feared Afghanistan will become a new cradle of jihadi terrorist training camps as extremists are inspired by the victory of the Taliban and the perceived weakness of the West.
Despite being the traditional enemies of ISIS-K, the Taliban may allow the terrorists to flourish so they take on their common enemy, the West.
ISIS-K are just as vicious and brutal as their counterparts in Iraq and Syria, having no problems with killing school children or beheading their enemies in sick propaganda videos
Defence and security experts told The Sun Online that foreign fighters from Britain and beyond will likely be trained in Afghanistan to commit atrocities in the West.
They fear it is an even more dangerous situation than the Taliban’s original rule of Afghanistan in the late 90s.
Terrorists fighters holding out in Afghanistan are now more experienced, more grizzled and have access to a multi-billion pound arsenal of US weapons, the experts warned.
Colonel Richard Kemp, Britain’s former commander in Afghanistan, told The Sun Online the situation in Afghanistan is the “greatest victory for jihadists in any time”.
He explained the symbolism of the Taliban appearing to “physically drive out” the retreating West is the “biggest PR win they could have” to inspire the next generation.
And he considers ISIS-K the most “imminent” security threat in Afghanistan, but also pointed to the ongoing danger posed by al-Qaeda.
“[Foreign fighters] will be flooding in from all around the world as soon as they can, where they will train for terror attacks,” he told The Sun Online.
“Some will stay in Afghanistan, but many will go back home to carry out attacks in their own countries.”
ISIS-K strength will now likely result in planned attacks of London, plotted in Afghanistan.
He added having a centralised location for jihadis to both train and plan attacks will increase the sophistication of the violence – with the West potentially facing more incidents like 9/11 rather than the lone wolves seen in recent years.
It will also make terror threats harder to track as US, UK and other Western security services will not be able to simply monitor online communications to intercept potential terrorists.
“We’ve now got 20 years of experienced terrorists in Afghanistan who have been fighting, and that kind of combat experience is invaluable,” Colonel Kemp told The Sun Online.
“They have become more effective, and they can train people more effectively, and they have vast supplies of weapons. The situation is even more dangerous than it was before.”
WHO ARE ISIS-K?
Isis-K is an offshoot of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) that has been operating in eastern Afghanistan since 2014.
According to a US security think-tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS], the group is allegedly responsible for a hundred attacks on civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan between 2015 and 2017.
It launched 250 attacks on US, Pakistani and Afghan forces and according to a United Nations report, has “between 500 and 1,200 fighters” with some experts saying that number could rise to 10,000 in the coming years.
The terror group initially drew its fighters from disenfranchised Taliban soldiers in Pakistan who were disheartened with their leadership’s lack of success on the battlefield at the time while looking at Isil victories in Syria with envy.
Isis-K is a sworn enemy of the Taliban and the two have repeatedly clashed.
Unlike the Afghan Taliban, whose focus remains on Afghanistan, ISIS-K has declared it wants to attack United Nations and western powers.
The group has a strong presence in provinces bordering Pakistan but is causing concern among the Taliban for its ability to strike Kabul.
They were behind the Kabul airport attack on Thursday which has claimed 95 Afghans and 13 US troops.
ISIS-K are estimated to be up 10,000 in number and were originally formed in 2015 by a small group of fighters who travelled from Iraq and Syria, as well as disenfranchised Taliban fighters.
As well as yesterday’s horror bombing at the Abbey Gate and Baron Hotel near Kabul airport, they have previously attacked schools, hospitals and weddings in their vicious terror campaign.
And despite the Taliban’s insistence they will not tolerate terrorists in Afghanistan as per their deal signed with former US President Donald Trump, it is doubted the group will stick to this pledge.
Robert Clark, defence policy associate at Henry Jackson Society, who served with the British Army for nine years in Afghanistan, also warned The Sun Online that ISIS-K will be “actively plotting against Western targets”.
“What the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan does is allow groups like ISIS-K a foothold in the now lawless country, to regroup, train, and conduct attacks,” he said.
Clark went on: “ISIS-K will likely see an influx into Afghanistan from foreign fighters now – much the same as ISIS did during the security vacuum in Iraq and Syria in 2013-14.
‘FROM AFGHANISTAN TO LONDON’
“The US pulling out has directly led to Taliban takeover.
“That in turn has led to groups like ISIS-K seeking a return to exploit the security vacuum and chaos. ISIS-K strength will now likely result in planned attacks of London, plotted in Afghanistan.”
Britain, the US and other nations continue the desperate rush to pull out their citizens and any refugees they can take from Afghanistan.
The carnage at the airport yesterday with a double detonation of a car bomb and a suicide bomber threw the operations into disarray.
And the clock is now ticking, with the Taliban sticking with the August 31 deadline for all Western forces to be out of the country.
With the West gone, it is believed the regime will ramp up its brutal oppressive laws and vile punishments – while terrorist groups will also increase their activities in Afghanistan.
Professor Anthony Glees, from Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, said: “You can’t trust the Taliban if they told you which day of the week it was, let alone with the lives of innocent people including most Muslims who don’t want to be ruled by them.”
He added: “We’ve had 20 years of UK Islamists being drawn to al-Qaeda and the Taliban like moths are drawn to a light.
“It will happen, and is probably already happening.
“Our only safeguard is to say that every Brit who goes off to support the Taliban or ISIS-K will immediately lose their UK passports and will never be allowed to return.”
Professor Glees added the West will be in “mortal peril” from terrorists for years in the wake of Taliban’s rise – and added Islamist terrorists will be celebrating the upcoming 20th anniversary of 9/11 to mark “their victory”.
British fighters are already feared to have traveled to Afghanistan during the US’s muddled withdrawal which has seen US President Joe Biden widely criticised from all corners.
A senior intelligence source told The Sun: “We have received some intercepts of two British men, probably below 30, talking openly on mobiles.
“One had a London accent, what you might call a street accent.”
One security source said there was “intermittent intelligence” showing Brits had taken up arms against the Afghan government, but added: “We have no idea who they are. It’s difficult to put a number on it.”
This comes as the UK announced it had shut Kabul airport gates on Friday, leaving some 150 Brits behind.
And a former military commander said the UK would need to form a relationship with the Taliban to “get on top of” ISIS-K.
General Sir Richard Barrons said: “We no longer have an embassy, troops on the ground, or a relationship with the Afghan security forces.
“We are just going to have to accept we can and try and build a relationship with the Taliban in our own interests.”