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Dan Gilmore / May 4, 2015

ISIL Carrying Out Attacks in Afghanistan

On April 18, a suicide bomber drove his motorcycle into a line of people waiting to collect paychecks at an Afghanistan bank. In the ensuing explosion, 35 people died. In a statement, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani blamed the attack on ISIL. “In the horrific incident in Nangarhar, who took responsibility? The Taliban didn’t claim responsibility. Daesh [another name for ISIL] claimed responsibility for it,” Ghani said. For months there were reports that ISIL had begun to spread east, that it was recruiting. Now, NBC News reports ISIL is distinguishing itself from the Taliban for unrestrained brutality, such as beheading the bodies of the people it kills. While NBC says most of the fighters that make up the ISIL franchise in Afghanistan come from Pakistan, the Caucuses, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the Wall Street Journal reports this ISIL group is a dissatisfied offshoot of the Taliban that split off from the larger organization. Regardless if this is a new and emerging threat in the country, or if it shows the country’s greatest adversary splintering, this is a development that further stains Barack Obama’s foreign policy résumé. More…

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