An Islamic State offshoot has amassed around 5,000 militants in northern Afghanistan on the border of post-Soviet republics of Central Asia, the director of Russia’s FSB has warned, adding that many of them have fought in Syria, ONA reports citing Russia Today.
“Especially worrying is re-deployment of terrorist groups into northern provinces of Afghanistan,” Alexander Bortnikov told chiefs of ex-Soviet intelligence services in Dushanbe. He warned that ‘Wilayat Khorasan’, a local Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) affiliate, had managed to gather 5,000 fighters in the area. That aside, terrorists are infiltrating into former Soviet countries where they build up ties with organized crime. To keep a low profile, they merge with flows of refugees and migrants, Bortnikov said.
Islamists have suffered a series of defeats in Syria and Iraq, but they still remain a danger. “Now they are trying to regroup in areas which Syrian government doesn’t control, or hide out in refugee camps,” the FSB chief noted.
Another alarming trend is that terrorist groups move their forces to other parts of the world, including Northern Africa and Southeast Asia.