Three Hyderabad students and aspiring extremists, who were allegedly on their way to join the terrorist group Islamic state (IS) in Afghanistan have been caught by Telangana police and Maharashtra Anti-terrorist squad (ATS) at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar international airport in Nagpur, where they conducted an early-dawn operation.
According to the Times of India, the men who were arrested were in their twenties were planning to get on to the Indigo flight flying to Srinagar from Nagpur. They reached Nagpur on Friday by road. Two out of the three were earlier stopped by intelligence agencies when they were on their way to Afghanistan.
It is interesting to note that the students were not flying to Syria or Iraq where the terror group holds maximum territory.
While Afghanistan does not have an ISIS stronghold as much as Syria does, however, recent developments show that Afghanistan could be the new den for Islamic State aspirants.
On Friday, Khaama Press reported that Afghanistan based loyalists of the ISIS terrorist group came out with a new propaganda video- “Khurasan, The Graveyard of Apostates”, which contained visuals of the extreme violent acts of the terror group that was in an emergent stage until a few weeks earlier.
The report also added that the terror group is being tracked very closely as they were creating ‘little nests’ in Afghanistan, from where they were carrying out their attacks.
A Pentagon report revealed that Afghanistan has been witnessing a severe security problem in the second half of 2015 during which the country faced an increased number of Taliban attacks and increasing threats from ISIS, reported RT.
The report adds:
The document (Pentagon report) also acknowledges a threat from Islamic State in Afghanistan, noting that the militant group has seized areas from the Taliban in Nangarhar province – despite being far away from the group's strongholds in Iraq and Syria. - "The group [IS] continues to recruit disaffected Taliban and formerly Taliban-aligned fighters, most notably the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan," it reads.
In fact Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was worried over increasing number of extremists from Russia's Caucasus region and the former Soviet republics going to fight with ISIS in Syria, has gone to the extent of joining hands with its old enemy the Taliban for intelligence-sharing and information exchange regarding the fight against ISIS.
CNN also reported that "the emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan is another major worry -- not only to Russia but also to the United States. Much of the violence in the country wracked by war and an insurgency has involved the Taliban. But al Qaeda -- which, led by the late Osama bin Laden, called Afghanistan home before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- continues to be a threat," and so does ISIS.