what’s EI-Okay, Islamic State of Khorasan? | EUROtoday

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QJust hours after the assault on Crocus City Hall, a live performance corridor within the suburbs of Moscow, the Islamic State (IS) claimed accountability for the assault, which left at the very least 137 useless and 154 injured. According to safety sources relayed by the New York Timesthe Afghan department of IS, the Islamic State of Khorasan (EI-Okay), can be the primary suspect, whereas Vladimir Putin continues to be struggling to accuse Ukraine.

After incessant growth since its creation in 2015, the group's strike drive continues to fret. Because it has already demonstrated its capability to strike each in Afghanistan and internationally.

The EI-Okay created following a break up

According to Hans-Jakob Schindler, director of the NGO Counter Extremism Project (CEP) and former United Nations knowledgeable on terrorism, IS-Okay was created in Afghanistan by IS emissaries from Iraq and Syria. The jihadists forming this new group have adopted “a more violent version of Islam”, specifies the American every day.

The chosen title refers back to the historical past of Afghanistan whose medieval title was Khorasan, which means “where the sun comes from” in Persian. The nation then included a part of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

It is ready to develop because of the poor governance of the Afghan regime, the safety vacuum left by the departure of the United States and the issue skilled by the Taliban in securing the nation. The group then makes life tough for the Taliban and counts amongst its members quite a few defectors from the motion in energy in Kabul.

An outward-facing terrorist group

Nine years after being based, this department maintains “very close links with the central office, much more than the other subsidiaries” of the group on the earth, and obtains the funds it wants, assures Hans-Jakob Schindler to AFP .

“EI-K has established itself as the most internationally oriented branch of IS. It has produced propaganda in more languages ​​than any other subsidiary since the height of the Caliphate [autoproclamé] in Iraq, in Syria,” provides Lucas Webber, co-founder of the specialised web site Militant Wire. “This international vision includes an ambitious and aggressive campaign to strengthen its external operational capabilities and strike its various enemies abroad. »

Now renowned for its “extreme brutality”, says Reuters, it’s thought of the “most bloodthirsty” group in Afghanistan, in line with the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) in 2021.

The Islamic State of Khorasan, creator of assaults within the Middle East

The group turned identified with the assault it carried out at Kabul airport in August 2021. The nation was then in the course of a disaster: the Taliban overthrew the federal government in place. This assault value the lives of 170 civilians and 13 American troopers, making it the deadliest towards Pentagon forces since 2011 in Afghanistan and the bloodiest assault towards the United States ever carried out by ISIS.

Subsequently, EI-Okay turned the goal of the Taliban who killed, in April 2023, one of many group's leaders and mastermind of the Kabul assault. Afghan leaders have prevented IS-Okay jihadists from “seizing territory or recruiting large numbers of former Taliban fighters who were bored in peacetime – one of the worst scenarios envisaged after the collapse of the Afghan government supported by the West”, recalls the New York Times, and relayed in the columns of Figaro.

More recently, Iran has been the target of the jihadist group. On January 3, 2024, a bomb attack killed more than 90 people and injured nearly 300 in Kerman, during a commemorative procession in honor of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

Russia, favored target of EI-K

EI-K takes a critical look at Moscow's war in Ukraine and its interventions in Africa, Syria, Afghanistan and Chechnya, which pushed it to take Russia, entangled in its war against Ukraine, as a privileged target, continues Lucas Webber. EI-K “considers Russia to be complicit in activities that regularly oppress Muslims,” remembers Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center, based mostly in Washington and cited by Reuters. The group is now engaged on “its expansion across Central Asia and Russia”, with even “a Russian-language media to strengthen its support and incite violence in the country”, he remembers.

In September 2022, a suicide assault was carried out on the Russian embassy in Kabul. “It’s a big symbol,” says Hans-Jakob Schindler. On March 7, Russian authorities claimed to have killed suspected EI-Okay members throughout an operation within the Kaluga area, southwest of Moscow, accusing them of getting ready an assault towards a synagogue. of the capital.

While it’s nonetheless unclear whether or not the 4 suspected attackers arrested are affiliated with the terrorist group, a video apparently shot by the attackers was posted on social media accounts normally utilized by the Islamic State jihadist group, in line with the Site group, which makes a speciality of analysis. anti-terrorism.

“It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the Moscow attack for ISIS and what it means for its evolution,” writes Tore Hamming of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) on The IS “has been working since 2019 to reestablish an institutional unit in charge of external operations. First in Turkey, then in Afghanistan with actors from Central Asia,” he provides. “It looks like they're getting there. With Afghanistan and Central Asia as platforms to strike Russia and Asia, and Turkey as a portal to Europe.”

For the second, Europe has not been hit by EI-Okay. Several networks have been dismantled, together with a primary Russian-Tajik community in Germany in 2020. Others suffered the identical destiny in 2022 and 2023.