Why ISIS-K has Russia in its terrorist sights – Asia Times

Why ISIS-K has Russia in its terrorist sights - Asia Times

It seems almost certain that the terrible assault on a Russian group setting up for a rock concert in Moscow on Friday evening was an Islamic terrorist attack.

After militants with automatic weapons stormed the Crocus City Hall in Moscow and opened fire, causing a panic, at least 133 people were killed and scores more were injured.

Islamic State claimed duty for the harm first through its Amaq internet network and therefore immediately. The attack’s strategy likewise ties into earlier attacks by the Islamic State.

According to reports, the attack was carried out by the Islamic State Khorasan ( ISIS-K), a branch of the country’s 2015 constitution.

So who is this class, why did they harm Russia, and what does this mean for the threat of terrorism in general?

What is ISIS- K?

The Islamic State tree, or ISIS-K, has been most frequently and aggressively attempting terrorist attacks in Europe, including in Russia. In the last year, ISIS- K has attacks“>planned roughly 21 attacks in nine different nations, an increase from eight the past season.

Before the United States officially withdrew from the state in 2021, ISIS- K had been under intense pressure from the Afghan Special Forces and British soldiers. ISIS- K has risen in stature in recent years, with some thousand soldiers operating in almost every one of Afghanistan’s 34 regions, despite the ongoing upheaval of Taliban law.

If ISIS-K is really to blame for the Moscow attack, we should be ready for more intended attacks across Europe as well.

ISIS- K members have been detained in Europe on numerous times. Friday’s strike shows the threat is real and significant, following years of cautions that Islamic State was rebuilding its power and determination to launch an international criminal plan.

Earlier this month, the US, along with five different countries, had shared knowledge they had of ISIS- K planning for problems in Moscow. However, President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin rejected these warnings as part of an effort to undermine Russia as recently as last year.

Russia’s tyrannical leader’s victory in the midst of his powerful “election strategy” giving him a mission for a further six years in power is at the worst possible time.

And it is probably for this reason that Putin’s five- second televised address on Saturday, in which he directed responsible toward Ukraine, came so soon.

We’re not yet certain whether the Kremlin will recognize that the Islamic State was to blame for the attack or whether it will continue to blame the West or the West for it.

The Crocus City Hall strike. Image: YouTube Screengrab

Either way, it’s likely to respond with a wave of violence, cracking down on Russia’s Muslim minority neighborhoods in the North Caucasus region and above.

Both Islamic State in public, and ISIS- K in particular, have huge proclaimed their goal of dazzling Russia.

They cited Russia’s earlier defense occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s and its long history of hostility toward Muslim populations in Russia, particularly in the North Caucasus. They have even cited Russia’s involvement in helping to save Bashar al-Assad’s brutal government in Syria.

The group chose a smooth target in Moscow in the eyes of course, but it was also probable based on opportunity and personnel.

Russia saw a number of problems by the Islamic State between 2016 and 2017, and several more narratives were halted between 2021 and 2023.

Over the past two decades, Russian citizens and citizens from Central Asia with connections to Russia have been the main suspects in many of the ISIS-K insurgents ‘ arrests across Europe, including in Russia.

This month, Russian authorities made the most recent arrests after claiming to have prevented a organized attack on a Moscow church.

Additionally, one Russian nationwide who is suspected of having Islamic State connections was detained in Poland last month, and another was detained while a Turkish nuclear service was being constructed.

In recent years, the vast majority of powerful ISIS- K problems have been in Afghanistan, with some targeting the majority Shia Muslim Hazara area.

In the middle of the chaotic departure of Kabul, the party launched a large suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport in August 2021, which left 13 US military personnel dead and 170 civilians dead.

In September 2022, ISIS-K even bombed the Russian Embassy in Kabul, killing at least six people.

Nearly 100 people were killed at a ceremony held in Kerman, Iran, in January of this year as a result of ISIS-K’s enormous suicide bombing.

What will Trump and the broader threat of terrorism do next?

Terrorist problems, including those carried out by brutal systems like Iran or Russia, are dreadful attack on regular people who are not to blame for the laws or politics of the people they are made to serve.

Authoritarian regimes usually respond to attacks with harsh retaliations, which are more likely to result in cycles of murder and less restriction and accountability than is the case with counter-terrorism operations in open societies.

Friday night’s invasion in Moscow was terrible, but unfortunately the dread is likely to be just the beginning.

Regardless of how Putin and the Kremlin decide to react, the assault serves as a reminder that the threat of terrorism brought on by organizations like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda is now increasing once more. These organizations then pose a new hazard to the West after five years of primarily operating in eastern Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

We should be much more concerned than we have been about the continued expansion of ISIS-K and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

The attack on Friday serves as a clear warning that we should never turn our backs on anyone who tries to make improvements to Afghanistan. There are no simple solutions, but refusing to help may only worsen the situation.

Greg Barton, Chair in Global Islamic Politics, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Scholar- In- House Asia Society Australia, Deakin University

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