Taliban Officials Give Conflicting Statements about ISIS Presence in Afghanistan

Published On: April 26, 2023Categories: Fact Check, Uncategorized

Recent statements by Mawlawi Mohammad Nabi Omari, the deputy minister of interior for the Taliban de facto government, have denied the threat of ISIS in Afghanistan. Omari claims that “Daesh is a phenomenon created by the occupiers. With the end of occupation, like other foreign mercenaries in Afghanistan, its strength has perished.” He adds, “Now they exist more in foreign media propaganda than they exist in practice.”

However, these remarks contradict those of the Taliban’s de facto government officials, as their spokespersons have repeatedly announced operations against ISIS in Afghanistan. In a recent incident, an ISIS hideout in Kart-e Naw in Kabul was destroyed, but Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid posted the news on his Twitter page without mentioning ISIS.

According to the Washington Post, a Taliban-led operation killed a member of ISIS who was the mastermind of the Kabul airport attack in August 2021, which killed 170 Afghan citizens and 13 US soldiers.

Taliban spokespersons have stated that more than 80 operations have been carried out against ISIS members in Afghanistan so far. The spokesperson for the same ministry stated that in the last year (March 2022-March 2023), they eliminated more than 100 members of ISIS and arrested over 100 others.

In February of this year, the United Nations Security Council reported on the presence and activities of ISIS in Afghanistan. The report estimated the number of ISIS members to be between 1,000 and 3,000.

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