Has ISIS Declared the Taliban an Enemy?

Published August 26th, 2021 - 06:30 GMT
al-Naba newspaper by ISIS
al-Naba is an ISIS-affiliated newspaper. (Twitter: @sebusher)

A few days after the Taliban seized most of Afghanistan, its Islamist rival ISIS condemned the extremist group and accused it of being an American tool.

In the August 18, 2021 issue of the ISIS-affiliated newspaper, Al-Naba, ISIS started a media attack against the Taliban which has just taken over most of the Afghan territories last week.

According to Al-Naba, the Taliban's rise to power has been "enabled by the US," referring to the Doha agreement signed between the two in 2020. The ISIS media outlet called the Taliban "converts," suggesting that their agreements with the US, referring to them in the article as the "crusaders," means that they are "not true Muslims." ISIS has also attacked the Taliban's 1990s rule of Afghanistan, saying it "was not in full compliance with Islam."

Translation: "A new article by ISIS's Al-Naba talking about a new Afghanistan post a series of wars that will erupt between the two, which will end the Taliban's rule. Has the Taliban changed its jihadist sharia-law-based approach to governance as ISIS suggests? Could the UN's warning of ISIS's growing power encourage a war that will further weaken what's left of Afghanistan?"

This media escalation between ISIS and the Taliban is pointing at a heightened sense of tension between the two groups whose ideologies are based on an extremist interpretation of Islam.

Online commentators sharing screenshots of the article have expressed their fear that the next few months are going to feature an armed conflict between ISIS and the Taliban, one which could eventually lead to major losses of Afghan lives.

Another sign of disagreement between the two groups has been evident in statements given by the Taliban's English spokesperson Suhail Shaheen, who told BBC that checkpoints erected by the Taliban around the Kabul airport are only meant to prevent ISIS attacks. This morning, western media reported "a potential car bomb threat near the Kabul airport."

According to the agreement between the Taliban and the US, the Taliban has pledged to stop any terrorist groups from launching attacks on US and western targets from Afghanistan. 

© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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