More dangerous than Daesh, these terrorists are the new real threat weighing on France

Since the attack in Moscow, a terrorist group has been causing increasing concern. Its members are known to be extremely violent.

The Moscow attack, which occurred on Friday March 22 and left 145 dead, highlighted in the starkest way the new terrorist threat weighing on Europe and beyond. If it shares several points in common with Daesh, which sowed terror in the mid-2010s, notably with the 2015 attacks in France, it differs in its origin, but also in its rear base. While Daesh terrorists took refuge behind a pseudo “Islamic State” formed between Syria and Iraq, the danger this time comes from Afghanistan.

This threat has recently emerged under the name EI-K. Born in 2014, the organization took advantage of the poor governance of the Afghan regime and the security vacuum caused by the departure of the United States in August 2021, after 20 years of war following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Like its big sister, it aims to establish a caliphate in the region from Pakistan to Uzbekistan. It must be said that the “Islamic State of Khorasan”, the name it has given itself, would be very close to the central branch of IS. The organization was allegedly created in Afghanistan by emissaries from Iraq and Syria.

This relatively young branch is known for its extreme violence: assassinations, beheadings and torture are associated with it. Above all, it can still gain power, its members would be able to obtain “the funds they need”, assured theAFP Hans-Jakob Schindler, director of the NGO Counter Extremism project. According to a UN report dating from February 2022, EI-K is also expanding: “The numbers of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan have increased from 2,200, ‘according to previous estimates, at nearly 4,000, following the release of several thousand prisoners.’

The Moscow attack in March, claimed by the terrorist group, left 145 dead. © /AP/SIPA (published on 04/16/2024)

If the organization has often attacked the Taliban, new masters of Afghanistan since the American retreat, it has not spared civilians. Last January, for example, EI-K sowed terror in Iran, in the city of Kerman, killing at least 90 people during the commemoration of the four years of the death of General Qassem Soleimani. The terrorist group is also behind the attack on Kabul airport in August 2021 which took the lives of more than 170 civilians. The Islamic State of Khorasan, which in Persian means “where the sun comes from”, is thus considered “the bloodiest in Afghanistan”, according to a 2023 note from the French Institute of International Relations. The United States is also monitoring him closely: the country accuses him of being behind the deaths of American soldiers.

IS-K is truly threatening on an international scale: “It has produced propaganda in more languages ​​than any other affiliate since the height of the (self-proclaimed) caliphate in Iraq and Syria,” he said. analyzed with theAFP Lucas Webber, co-founder of the specialized site Militant Wire. France would be one of the countries threatened by the organization: “It was involved in several recent attack plans foiled in several European countries, including Germany and France,” Matignon revealed to theAFP after the attack in Moscow.

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