Fighters from Hezb-e-Islami in Afghanistan, allies of the Taliban, are considering joining the Islamic State (IS).
Their commander, known simply as Commander Mirwais, said Muslims everywhere are “thirsty for an Islamic caliphate” and that his fighters are watching to see if IS proves to be “a true Islamic caliphate.”
According to BBC News, Commander Mirwais referred to IS “by its Arabic acronym Daish.” And he made clear that he and his men already “have links with some Daish members.”
Commander Mirwais added:
We are waiting to see if [Daish meets] the requirements for an Islamic caliphate. If we find they do, we are sure that our leadership will announce their allegiance to them. They are great mujahideen. We pray for them, and if we don’t see a problem in the way they operate, we will join them.
The thought of another terror group joining IS is a daunting one for countries and states already overwhelmed with the task of stopping and turning back current IS gains in Iraq and Syria. And if the terror group that joins IS is associated with the Taliban, as Hezb-e-Islami is, the ante will be raised even higher.
That’s because the unification would immediately add strongholds in Afghanistan to IS’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.