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A few dozens Indonesian fighters has joined ISIS in Afghanistan

Some of them were veterans of wars in Iraq-Syria.

23 Juli 2021 17:49

Foreign fighters from many countries, including Indonesia, has flocked to Afghanistan since the establishment of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), a branch of ISIS active in South Asia and Central Asia, in January 2015. Unti today, foreign fighters are still entering Afghanistan.

ISKP's main activity is in the border region of eastern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan.

Read also: A few dozens Indonesian jihadists moved from Iraq and Syria to Yemen and Afghanistan

According to Faran Jeffery, the Deputy Director of UK-based Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism, there are a few dozens Indonesian fighters has joined ISKP. "Most Indonesian ISIS fighters started entering Afghanistan around 2016-17. Some of them were veterans of wars in Iraq-Syria," he said in an exclusive interview with Faisal Assegaf from Albalad.co via WhatsApp today.

Excerpts:

How many Indonesian fighters has joined ISIS in Afghanistan (ISKP)?

A few dozens. Most foreign ISIS jihadists surrendered to Afghan security forces.

Since when they moved to Afghanistan? Are they veteran from war in Syria and Iraq?

Most Indonesian ISIS fighters started entering Afghanistan around 2016-17. Some of them were veterans of wars in Iraq-Syria.

Is there any Indonesian fighter currently came from Indonesia to join ISKP?

I don't know about that specifically but foreign ISIS fighters are still entering Afghanistan.

How important Indonesian fighters in ISKP? Do they get roles in battle field or as a suicide bomber?

I have not seen any major operation carried out by an Indonesian ISIS fighter in Afghanistan. But foreign fighters including indonesians were part of ISKP battled against Taliban in Kunar and Nangarhar.

How many Indonesian fighters in ISKP already killed? Can you mention their names, where and when they were killed?

That information isn't known. But I suspect most surrendered to Afghan security forces. Some might have already been handed over to Indonesian government.

By growing of Taliban dominance in Afghanistan, is there any Indonesian jihadist joined Taliban? If so how many?

I have not seen evidence of any Indonesian foreign fighter with Taliban.

Some Indonesians linked to Jamaah Islamiyah, Al Qaidah affiliated group, previously had connection with mujahideen in Afghanistan during Soviet era. Do you see there will be strong threats against Indonesian security once Taliban held power in Afghanistan?

I don't think there would be any serious threat to Indonesia from Taliban. Indonesia has a very positive perception among Afghans including the Taliban. Indonesia is seen as a neutral Muslim country and is liked by most Afghans.

How powerful is ISKP to maintain their presence in Afghanistan once Taliban held in power?

ISKP isn't as powerful as it once used to be. It has lost its territory to Taliban or govt forces. But it still maintains cells in Afghanistan and still carries out attacks. Its attacks in recent months have once again increased.

Can you explain which countries has their own national interests with Taliban or ISKP?

Many countries have interest in keeping dialogue open with Taliban. From Pakistan to India to Iran to Indonesia itself. Taliban are seen as a legit stakeholder in Afghanistan by most countries. That's not the case with ISKP.

Do you believe Taliban will hold power in Afghanistan this year and how about the possibility of civil war or sectarian war in Afghanistan?

It's not going to be easy for Taliban to capture Kabul. But they can capture other provincial capitals and yes, there's also a very real possibility of Afghanistan sliding into a civil war if the intra-Afghan peace process fails.

 

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