Expert Nikita Mendkovich, about whether Afghanistan’s new base for terrorist groups
Photo: personal archive Nikita Mendkovich
In recent years the issue of international terrorism is becoming more acute. An example is the next bloody attack in Central Kabul, which killed more than 30 people and injured dozens. New attacks happen not only in Afghanistan and Syria, the wave of terror increasingly spills over the boundaries of these regions to Turkey and Western Europe and even the United States. Russia in recent years increasingly remain on the sidelines, because the security services manage to reveal in advance the plans of terrorists. However, the metastasis of terror penetrate already in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, where it all the easier to penetrate into the Russian territory.
The previous period of mass terror in Europe was largely due to the activities of the European left-wing extremists, “the red brigades” and the like, as well as the Palestinian radicals from the “Black September”.
The current wave of terror became possible because of the emergence of the phenomenon banned in Russia DAIS, a terrorist organization that has managed to create a quasi-state, a vast territory in Syria and Iraq under its control, places of oil production, its own army, and even the rudiments of the defense industry.
In past years, religious extremists who dream to join the militias in Afghanistan or Pakistan, it was necessary to come to terms with very large problems — a lack of permanent housing, loneliness, constant escape from authorities, exhaustion and lack of sleep. Among the Afghan Taliban known cases where young militants left the movement, just suffering from lack of women.
In Syria, DAISH has offered its adherents a large enough “back”, where you can even bring the family, and for unmarried men, the so — called sexual Jihad and even “laws” providing for slavery. The militants also promised housing, constant salary and definite career prospects for commercials DAYS young radicals posed on the background of expensive cars and houses in the occupied territories, which was to Woo the poor youngsters from the region and beyond.
As a result, in 2010s the terrorists are using propaganda through the Internet were able to gather in its ranks the great mass of extremists from around the world, as well as unemployed young people, ready for any criminal perk. Combined with proceeds from illegal oil production and captured military arsenals — DAYS got all the components of a new wave of international terror, which are now facing many countries of the world.
The flywheel of terror is already running, so seek stopping it even at the cost of military victory is very difficult. In the face of defeats by the Syrian authorities and the Russian VKS at Aleppo and the beginning of the NATO offensive in the Mosul area, the terrorists are trying to strike in the rear. For 2016 was a lot of messages on disclosure in Russia, terrorist cells, subordinate to the DAIS, and resonance of terrorist attacks in EU member States aimed to intimidate society and force it to abandon the struggle. In 2004, Spain withdrew its troops from Iraq after the terrorist attacks in Madrid that has created many religious radicals the belief that terror they can break the will of their opponents to resist.
DAYS at the same time considering the destruction and looking for ways to create new bases in other regions. In particular, increasing the number of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, where due to mistakes of the US and Afghan authorities, the situation is steadily worsening in the past three years. Groups of local militants who took the flag DAIS, managed to establish almost complete control over the southern province of Nangarhar, as well as to penetrate into the Northern parts of the country, bordering the former Soviet Central Asia. Afghan DAIS has long clashed with the Taliban, but last year there was information that both the terrorist organization came to a compromise and made some sort of truce.
If the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, the country can try to turn in behind international terrorism. This has already happened in the 1990s, when the territories controlled by the Taliban, the shelter found the leaders of the “al-Qaeda”, banned in Russia, and that is where they were preparing the September 11 attacks in the United States.
Unfortunately, history teaches only that which it no one wants to learn. Despite the many sad examples, many countries are trying to flirt with international terrorism to achieve local tactical objectives. In the 1980s, NATO countries supported the armed groups in the same Afghanistan to weaken the Soviet position, the result was anti-American terrorism 1990-2000-x, which was attended by former allies of the Afghan “Mujahideen” from Arab countries.
A few years ago the USA and some Arab countries were ready to support any Syrian armed groups to speed up the overthrow of the Assad regime, which led to the expansion of the DAIS, which was halted by the military intervention of Russia, and later Turkey and the USA.
Military victory must surely weaken the terrorists, however, would require a far greater overall effort, which would not have given the leaders of the extremists to gain a foothold in other countries and dismantle the infrastructure of terror created in the past years in different countries and regions.
The author is the head of the Eurasian club of analytical, expert at the Center for modern Afghanistan studies (CISA)
The opinion of the author may not coincide with the position of the editorial Board