ISIS-K CHEAT SHEET: Who are the new kids on the terror block?

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New kids on the terror block ISIS-K have proven their insatiable bloodlust isn’t just a passing fad.

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The jihadi maniacs were responsible for suicide bombings outside the embattled Kabul airport where thousands are desperately trying to escape the coming carnage once the Taliban find their footing.

So who are the latest crop of whackos? Intelligence sources have said for starters, ISIS-K think the Taliban are old softies.

This image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance. The Islamic State is targeting Western recruits with videos suggesting they too can be a hero like Bruce Willis’ character in “Die Hard.”(Militant video via AP, File)
This image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance. The Islamic State is targeting Western recruits with videos suggesting they too can be a hero like Bruce Willis’ character in “Die Hard.”(Militant video via AP, File)

WHO ARE THEY?

ISIS-K stands for the Islamic State Khorasan — a historical area in embattled Central Asia that includes parts of Afghanistan — and they emerged some time in 2015. Its origins can be traced to former Islamic State poohbah Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who chose Pakistani national Hafiz Saeed Khan as the group’s first “emir,” or chief, the New York Post reports.

Khan brought a coterie of terror rock stars, including mouthpiece Sheikh Maqbool and several high-flying district chiefs. Al-Baghdadi was iced in 2019. Many of the members are Pakistanis.

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The pulverized ISIS caliphate. Now, jihadi brides want to come back to Canada.
The pulverized ISIS caliphate. Now, jihadi brides want to come back to Canada. Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

HOW MANY? HOW DANGEROUS?

ISIS-K had 3,000 to 4,000 fighters in 2016, but the obliteration of the Islamic State caliphate send its fortunes downhill. According to the United Nations Security Council, in 2018 the neophyte nutters suffered “successive military setbacks” in fighting in northern Afghanistan. By the end of the year, the group was down to between 1,500 and 2,000.

“(It) continues to pose a threat to both the country and the wider region,” the report said.

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KINGS OF ISIS-K

The group’s first leader was killed along with about 30 other terrorists by a U.S. drone strike in 2015. But the top job could be considered akin to being the piano player in the Grateful Dead: his replacement was wiped out in 2017 and his successor only lasted about two months before he was taken off the board and his replacement was captured as well.

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Since June 2020, ISIS-K has been led by Shahab al-Muhajir, aka “Sanaullah.”

Mourners carry a covered body during a burial ceremony following a suicide attack in a maternity hospital, at a cemetery in Kabul on May 13, 2020.
Mourners carry a covered body during a burial ceremony following a suicide attack in a maternity hospital, at a cemetery in Kabul on May 13, 2020. Photo by Stringer /AFP via Getty Images

HORROR SHOW

ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for: The May 2020 massacre of 16 people — including two newborns and nurses — in a Kabul maternity ward run by the Doctors Without Borders; in November 2020, ISIS-K took credit for a shooting rampage at Kabul University that killed 22; also that month they launched a mortar attack in the capital that killed 8.

The group has been blamed or taken responsibility for 77 attacks during the first four months of 2021.

A Taliban fighter walks past a beauty saloon with images of women defaced using a spray paint in Shar-e-Naw in Kabul on August 18, 2021.
A Taliban fighter walks past a beauty saloon with images of women defaced using a spray paint in Shar-e-Naw in Kabul on August 18, 2021. Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR /AFP via Getty Images

TANGO WITH THE TALIBAN?

According to intelligence experts, ISIS-K considers the Taliban weak sisters insufficiently devoted to fundamentalist Islam. We thought the Taliban were brutal fanatics who revel in enforcing religious law.

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Some of the ISIS-K kooks have even accused the Taliban of cooperating with the U.S. to get spies out of the country.

Injured people are transported in the aftermath of the Kabul terror attack on Aug. 26, 2021.
Injured people are transported in the aftermath of the Kabul terror attack on Aug. 26, 2021. Photo by Submitted /Toronto Sun

WHAT’S NEXT?

Civil war with two lousy options? Maybe. In the interim, ISIS-K is trying to poach Taliban killers who are disappointed in the kinder, gentler approach towards infidels and heretics.

According to intelligence sources, the two groups are killing each other on a daily basis, USA Today reported.

“They maintain these capabilities, and those are the reasons they and the Taliban are mortal enemies – because ISIS-K represents a competitor,” Douglas London, the CIA’s former top counterterrorism chief for the region, told USA Today.

“They represent a competitor for resources, materials and power, even though they’re relatively small.”

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun

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