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Daesh’s Syria-based Afghan fighter urges Taliban to join IS

By our correspondents
December 10, 2015

PESHAWAR: For the first time an Afghan national fighting in Syria for Daesh has issued a video statement urging the Taliban to join the Islamic State.

The Afghan fighter, who introduced himself as Abu Yasir Al-Afghani, is seen delivering his Pashto statement in a video released by the Islamic State (IS) with Arabic voiceover and subtitles.

The 10-minute and 17 seconds video titled “Message to Khurasan province” was produced by the Al-Khayr Media Office of Islamic Press and is the first video featuring the IS Afghan fighter in Syria.

Abu Yasir Al-Afghani claims that he is a former Taliban fighter and had worked in the Taliban leadership and also attended several Taliban meetings before joining the IS.

A local Taliban commander in eastern Nangarhar province told Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that the man who appeared in the IS video hailed from Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province and also had links with al-Qaeda.

The video also shows images of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and the Taliban representatives at the time of opening of their Qatar office.

Urging Taliban fighters and the people of Afghanistan to join the IS, Abu Yasir says: “My demand from the Afghan nation and Taliban fighters is that the IS doors are open for you and you can always enter our ranks. It is the only way to salvation.”

He criticised the Afghan Taliban leadership for having links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The IS emerged in Afghanistan around a year ago. The eastern Nangarhar province is considered to be a strong centre of the IS fighters who having been involved in clashes with the Taliban.

Meanwhile, the IS Khorasan released a video showing their fighters shooting dead a man, Noorzada, hailing from Kot district of Nangarhar. In the video, a man speaking Pashto urges militant groups to join the IS.