Still from Islamic State video showing alleged mortar attacks against Pakistan army in Khyber region
A video posted on Twitter from an account showing links to “Wilayet Tunisia” today showed further evidence that IS is allegedly active in Pakistan. It is not clear when the 2 minute 51 second video set to a nasheed (chants) was made. The tweet read,
IS Khurassan Media Office presents: “Targeting Pakistani army with Mortars in Khayber Region”
Back in January 2015, a former Tehreek-e-Taliban TTP spokesperson Shaykh Maqbool previously known as “Shahidullah Shahid” (the name TTP adopted for that purpose) appeared in a 16 minute video from Khorasan Media which showed a group of fighters pledging bayah (spiritual allegiance) to Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Qureshi al Hussaini, Islamic State (IS), see link,
“Are IS gaining a foothold in Afpak: video release shows some allegiance in the region”
There have been a number of defections from the Taliban to IS (known as Wilayat Khorasan, AfPak Province of IS) in recent months. The Islamic Movement Uzbekistan (IMU) which is active in Afghanistan and Pakistan has also now pledged allegiance to al-Baghdadi.
A recent article by Declan Walsh in the New York Times looked at the impact of US drone strikes on Al Qaeda in the region, stating, “the Pakistanis estimate that Al Qaeda has lost 40 loyalists, of all ranks, to American drone strikes in the past six months”. Controversial use of drones (which often incite retaliation attacks) and Pakistan military operation Zarbe-e-Asb have forced militants to relocate to ever more remote valleys or depart the region altogether. Walsh further stated, “that process of attrition has been accelerated by the emergence of the Islamic State, whose arresting brutality and superior propaganda have sucked up funding and recruits.”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.