ISIL-K obtained weapons from TTP stockpiles left in Afghanistan since Taliban takeover: UN report

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United Nations: Terror group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant- Khorasan (ISIL-K) is reported to have sought and obtained weapons from the banned Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) stockpiles left in Afghanistan since the 2021 Taliban takeover, according to a UN report.

The 18th report of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security said that UN member states expressed concern about the proliferation of weapons in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa, in particular the continued increased use of unmanned aircraft systems and improvised explosive devices by Da’esh.

“Several member states reported continued proliferation of weapons from stockpiles left in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover. Member states continued to report that ISIL-K sought and obtained such weapons from Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan,” the report, released here Monday, said.

It added that UN member states continued to report that the high concentration of terrorist groups in Afghanistan undermined the security situation in the region. “Notwithstanding a decrease in the number of attacks perpetrated by ISIL-K and its recent loss of territory, casualties and high attrition among senior and mid-tier leadership figures, member states continue to consider the group as the greatest threat within Afghanistan, with the ability to project a threat into the region and beyond,” the report said.

Several member states confirmed that Sanaullah Ghafari was "still alive" and remained the ISIL-K leader, reportedly located in Kunar Province. Ghafari was likely targeted while exiting a Jamaat-ul-Ahrar training centre in Kunar, possibly leaving him injured, it said.

The report further said that ISIL-K adopted a more inclusive recruitment strategy, including focusing on attracting disillusioned Taliban and foreign fighters.

“By exploiting grievances arising from being restrained by the Taliban, ISIL-K was able to recruit members of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, also known as the Turkistan Islamic Party (ETIM/TIP), in Afghanistan, some of whom had already reportedly defected to ISIL-K. Recently, several Jamaat Ansarullah commanders reportedly joined ISIL-K ranks in Nangarhar and Kunar Provinces.” Member states also reported that recruitment of Afghans to ISIL-K was substantial, with Afghans often being used for operations.

The report was prepared by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team pursuant to UNSC resolutions concerning ISIL (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the Office of Counter-Terrorism, in close collaboration with other United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact entities.

Earlier this month, a similar report had said that according to UN member states, the strength of the Da’esh affiliate in Afghanistan - Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan (ISIL-K) - increased from earlier estimates of 2,200 fighters to now approaching 4,000 following the release by the Taliban of several thousand individuals from prison.

Member states also expressed concern that terrorist groups enjoyed greater freedom in Afghanistan than at any time in recent history in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August 2021.