The Taliban and ISIS Khorasan (ISK) from the very begining have delegitimized each other’s validity of jihad. At the ISIS debut, Al Bagdadi once mocked Mullah Omar as “illiterate,” referring to the Taliban who only graduated from madrasas. Mullah Omar replied with the decision to “prohibit members of the Taliban” oriented to Al Baghdadi via IS Khorasan (before Mullah Omar died)
However, with financial limitations and only focusing on Afghanistan, not a few members of the Taliban ended up turning around and joining IS Khorasan. Several elements within the Taliban have also defected to ISIS. The same thing happened to the Tarik e Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The Taliban since 2011 have indeed split into several different factions, such as Miran Shah Shura (the Haqqani network), Peshawar Shura and Quetta Shura, the initial and core network, which still claim to represent the leadership of all the Taliban.
In 2014 a new faction also emerged, the Masyad Office, which declared itself autonomous. In 2016 the Peshawar Shura split. Half of them founded the North Shura. Not only the Taliban, Hekmatyar of Hizb ut-Tahrir also had to fight a small-scale insurgency for several years within his organization.
IS Khorasan’s official 2015 presence in Afghanistan enjoys the benefit of the split. It is estimated that 30 percent of its members are from ex-Taliban, another 30 percent are from ex-TTP, and the rest are from small Islamist movement groups and new members.
Azizullah Haqani (one of the top brass of the Haqani network), in 2014 secretly sent troops to the ISIS Central led by Baghdadi, without Sirajudin Haqani’s knowledge. The first group was 400 people and the second 700 people, with several million dollars for Haqani, then the salary of the troops was around 800 dollars per person while in Iraq and Syria (slightly different from the pay for young Somali who became US mercenaries in Afghanistan and Iraq)
After being known out by Sirajudin, Azizullah was fired from the Haqani network, but a year later Azizullah rejoined, instead becoming a member of Miran Shah Sura and chairman of the Mirah Shah Shura Fediyan Commission. Today, even Sirajudin is predicted to have links to IS Khorasan, but from the Gansu Hui Group faction, namely the East Turkestan Islamic Movement or ETIM, from the Uyghur tribe. That’s why Beijing approaches the Taliban. One of the keys to ETIM that China is worried about is in the Haqani network
As for IS Khorasan members who are active in Afghanistan, based on field information compiled in 2017 by Dr. Antonio Giustozzi in his book “The Islamic State in Khorasan (2018),” before Baghdadi died, they were offered a salary of 400-600 dollars per month, pocket money for field operation, with better uniforms and more updated weapons than the Taliban. About half of the members of the Taliban who defected on average for financial reasons, because the average Taliban was only able to give 100 dollars a month at that time, while the pocket money was obtained from the waqf funds of the villagers.
While in Pakistan hundreds of large and small jihadist groups were operational in 2011–2017, among the largest of which were Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT- often called Pakistani intelligence toy), Sepah-e Sahaba (SS), Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP). ) with its various splinter groups (notably Jamaat ul Ahrar), Jaysh-e Mohammad (JeM), Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LeJ), Harakat-e Mujahidin and Jundullah. All of these groups initially had links to AQ (Al Qaeda) and some moved to IS Khorasan
In Iran there are also active Jihad groups, all in Baluchistan. For example Jundullah and Harakat-e Ansar-e Iran, Jaysh al Adl, Harakat-e Islami Sistan, Iran’s branch of Wilayat Khorasan and West Azerbaijan Islamic Movement. With the exception of Jundullah, all of these groups are connected to some degree with global jihadist groups such as AQ or IS.
In Tajikistan, Jamaat Ansarullah became active in 2011, followed by three more groups, namely Jihod Hizbi Nahzati Islamii (Party of Islamic Jihad Renaissance, IJRPT), Harakati Islamii Tajikistan (Islamic Movement of Tajikistan) and Harakati Islamii Gulmorad Halimov (Gulmorad Halimov Islamic Movement) . All of these groups have close links to AQ and/or IS.
In addition several other groups operate in Khorasan, mostly outside their home countries, such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), the Chinese Turkestan Islamic Party (Uyghur/TIP) and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Chechen Kavkaz Emarat and several others. smaller.
While in Indonesia ISIS is strongly suspected of being linked to MIT in Sulawesi and AQ is suspected of being connected to Jamaah Islamiyah, which is still active to this day. It is even suspected that there was an intermittent relationship with Hisbut Tahrir of Indonesia and several factions within the FPI (Front Pembela Islam/closed by government in 2020). Because of that allegation, the police gave emphasis to suspicion on the two organizations
ISK is indeed quite influential in changing the geopolitical map in Central Asia. Because of ISK, Russia approaches the Taliban again to fight ISK which is linked to Chechen insurgents and because of its influence in Central Asia such as Tajikistan, Usbekistan and even Khazakthan. So are China and Iran.
Saudi Arabia broke up a partnership with the Taliban in 2001. Previously, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar were supporters of the Taliban government. But since the Taliban approached Iran, Saudi Arabia reportedly moved positions. ISK funds on average flowed from Gulf countries, from Saudi sheiks, Qatar, and the UAE. This funding support is difficult to prove because it is not sent in the normal way. Funds are sent using the hawala system, a transfer system via Pakistani and Afghan traders across countries
But US believes that the Saudis are involved behind ISIS. Washington relies on Prince Al-Faisal’s words to John Kerry at the beginning of ISIS appearing that ‘Daesh (Arabic abbreviation for ISIS) is a Sunni response to US’s support for Da’wah groups [Shia groups in Iraq]’. Yes, in Iraq, after Saddam fell in fact US gave space to the Shia group, firing Sadam’s soldiers, which became an additional cause for the birth of the ISIS embryo, Abu Musa Al Zakawi.
With only these statement, analysts and pentagons have come close to believing for years that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are supporting ISIS in Syria and Iraq. So it seems that internal tensions in Afghanistan will be dominated by these two groups. US on the other hand has not been too willing to trust the Taliban to counter the ISK threat. Therefore, US will still be playing alone using bombs from drones, exactly what US did after the bomb exploded at Kabul Airport several months ago.