In news– Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) has claimed responsibility for the attack outside the Kabul airport recently.
About Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K)
- IS-K is an offshoot of the Islamic State or IS, earlier called the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).
- It is based in the Khorasan province of Afghanistan.
- The objective of IS-KP is to establish the wilayat (province) of Khorasan as part of the global caliphate of IS.
- Khorasan is also the historic name for the region encompassing present day Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.
- When the Islamic State was expanding in Syria and Iraq in 2014-15, the IS-K sprang up in Khorasan in eastern Afghanistan as ‘the caliphate’s sword’ in the region.
- By 2015-16, the IS-Khorasan was already launching terror attacks on the US-led forces in Afghanistan.
- When the group was first formed in Afghanistan, a Pakistani national, Hafiz Saeed Khan was the emir (also spelt as amir) was the head of IS-Khorasan.
- The group also had connections with the Taliban.
- Hafiz Saeed Khan’s deputy in the IS-Khorasan was a former Talib called Adhul Rauf Aliza.
- The group is currently headed by Shahab al-Muhajir.
- He is an ethnic Arab and is the first chief of the IS-Khorasan to have come from outside South Asia.
Relationship between Taliban and IS-Khorasan-
- Both the Taliban and IS-Khorasan are in competition to gain upper hand in Afghanistan.
- The IS-Khorasan wants to impose its version of Sharia, the Islamic law in Afghanistan.
- IS-Khorasan believe that the Taliban’s version of Islamic rule wasn’t hardline enough.
- But there is a definite link between the two – via the Haqqani network