Taliban arrests two Islamic State suspects from Malaysia after Kabul airport attack

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New Delhi, Aug 30: The Taliban is cracking down on the Islamic State (Khorasan Province) following the deadly suicide attack on Kabul airport, in which eight US marines and over a dozen Taliban members were killed.

Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov told Tass news agency that the ISKP or Daesh is competing with Taliban for political space, and the contradictions between them cannot be reconciled.

‘As far as I know the Taliban apprehended two Daesh militants today – allegedly, citizens of Malaysia. So, I understand that they will hunt and act completely harshly towards Daesh. The Taliban does not need any more of this,’ Zhirnov observed.

The Russian envoy said that the ISKP said that the real target of the Kabul airport attack was not the Americans, but the Taliban, with the intent of undermining the group’s credibility and legitimacy.

‘The war is irreconcilable. If it was indeed Daesh in the airport, then it was a challenge not to the US but to the Taliban. Because the Taliban took responsibility over Afghanistan at the moment,’ Zhirnov was quoted as saying in an interview on Saturday.

According to the Russian ambassador, the terror attack was a reputational blow to the Taliban.

‘Naturally, they could not be fully held responsible for what is happening around the airport. But the (damage is) to their image: the Taliban have just entered Kabul, and then this happens,’ he said.

Though one of the formidable leaders of Daesh, Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, who was killed by the Americans in Iraq in 2006 in an air strike, had trained in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. But after his departure, he joined a group that developed an ultra-extremist ideology of its own, under the influence of Abu Ali al-Anbarii, the chief ideologue of Daesh.

Daesh, which broke ranks with Al Qaeda, was completely focused on capturing state power and resources to establish the dream of a Caliphate, which it partially accomplished by capturing half of Syria, including its oil resources, and one-third of Iraq. ‘The Taliban are fully aware that ISKP will not be satisfied with terror attacks, but try and capture territory, to fulfil its larger dreams, based on an uncompromising worldview,’ an analyst who did not wish to be named said.

Daesh has already established a nefarious reputation of extreme brutality. Under Anbari’s supervision ‘a Jordanian pilot was condemned to immolation�Yazidis who came in contact with the group were massacred or enslaved; and two tribes in Syria and Iraq �were massacred as a warning against rebellion in the wake of the group’s capture of one-third of Iraq and nearly half of Syria,’ wrote Daesh expert, Hassan Hassan, in The Atlantic.

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–indianarrative