U.S. authorities designated four members of Islamic State-Khorasan as terrorists

U.S. authorities designated four members of Islamic State-Khorasan as terrorists

The Islamic State’s Khorasan Province, or ISIS-K, is a terrorist group active in South and Central Asia, mostly in Afghanistan, but also present elsewhere in South Asia. Founded six years ago by disaffected members of the Taliban, the group considers the Taliban to be an enemy.

Over the past 6 years, ISIS-K has committed multiple deadly attacks resulting in hundreds of deaths, particularly in Afghanistan.

They include the May 2021 bombing of a Kabul mosque that killed at least 12 worshippers celebrating Eid al-Fitr, and the August 2021 bombing of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul that resulted in the death of over 170 people.

Most of their victims are civilians, many of them children, and they often target religious minorities, including the Shia and Sikh communities.

In late November, the U.S. Department of State designated three leaders of ISIS-K, along with one of its chief financial facilitators, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under Executive Order 13224, as amended.

Sanaullah Ghafari, also known as Shahab al-Muhajir, is the group’s current overall emir. He was appointed by the ISIS core to lead ISIS-K in June 2020. Ghafari is responsible for approving all ISIS-K operations throughout Afghanistan and arranging funding to conduct operations.

Sultan Aziz Azam, or Sultan Aziz, has been ISIS-K’s spokesperson since the group first came to Afghanistan.

Maulawi Rajab, also known as Maulawi Rajab Salahudin, is a senior leader of ISIS-K in Afghanistan’s Kabul Province. He plans the group’s operations and commands ISIS-K groups conducting attacks in Kabul.

Ismatullah Khalozai was designated for providing financial support to ISIS-K. He has been an international financial facilitator for ISIS-K, and carried out missions for senior ISIS leadership.

“The United States is committed to using its full set of counterterrorism tools to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province, commonly referred to as ISIS-K, as part of our relentless efforts to ensure Afghanistan cannot again become a platform for international terrorism,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a written statement.

“We will continue to use all levers of American power to target terrorists who plot operations to indiscriminately kill civilians around the world, and those who enable, facilitate, and finance their acts.”

Source: VOA