Afghan security forces underscored their growing proficiency with the arrest of three senior ISIS leaders trying to establish terror networks
in the South and Central Asian region after defeats in Syria and Iraq.
Regional ISIS commander Abu Omar Khorasani was among those detained during operations in Kabul that also netted the men who headed the group’s intelligence and propaganda wings. The Afghan Interior Ministry announced the arrests in May 2020.
In April 2020, Afghan forces in Kandahar captured Abdullah
Orakzai, leader of the Khorosan branch of ISIS, along with several
of his henchmen.
Previously captured ISIS militants provided the information that led to their leaders’ arrests, Afghan-based ToloNews reported. Afghan security forces noted that ISIS cells in Kabul were cooperating with members of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network.
The arrests came as terrorists affiliated with ISIS, impersonating police officers, attacked a Kabul maternity hospital with guns and grenades. The international medical charity Doctors Without Borders runs a maternity clinic there. Among those murdered were newborn infants.
Afghan Special Forces troops led the rescue operation that eliminated the terrorists and saved more than 100 women and babies.
The security crackdowns on ISIS leaders is viewed as a necessary precondition for bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan. Afghan Special Forces, for example, captured more than 1,000 ISIS fighters during operations in Nangarhar province in 2019.
Sources: ToloNews, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, BBC