January 15, 2015 • From theTrumpet
The extremist terrorist group looks to broaden its horizons to the east
In a recruitment video posted on January 10, Orakzai made an appeal for members, specifically targeting audiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Within the video, Afghan and Pakistani militants are seen swearing allegiance to the Islamic State. These men are mostly disgruntled Taliban militants. The underpaid, under-equipped and those who fall out with the Taliban leadership are prime targets for Islamic State recruiters.
The Islamic State is not looking merely to swell its ranks with the young and uninitiated. It is going after seasoned veterans. Bomb-makers, guerrilla-warfare tacticians, and the general battle-hardened, run-of-the-mill terrorists are all prime Islamic State material. The Islamic State has the finances, backed by a recent string of successes in Iraq and Syria, to aid its recruitment drive.
Already the group is having major success in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. In October of last year, six faction commanders in northwestern tribal areas pledged allegiance to it.
The recruitment situation is similar in Pakistan, with the Islamic State looking to enlist pre-trained Taliban forces. Since the Taliban massacred 132 Pakistani schoolchildren in Peshawar on Dec. 16, 2014, the Pakistani government has cracked down on the Taliban. Those embattled terrorists could yet be swayed to join the Islamic State to try to escape the pressure from the government.
Reports are circulating of Islamic State recruitment drives in the Afghan provinces that border Pakistan. Helmand is one such example. The Islamic State no doubt sees the benefits of a stronghold in the region. Its hard-to-access landscapes have provided a sanctuary for Taliban and al Qaeda forces for years. The mountainous borderlands supply every geographical advantage of cover and security. Fighters can quickly and easily slip from one nation to another if retreat is necessary. Cross-border raids and smuggling are also made easy by the secluded mountain paths.
If the Islamic State builds a presence in the mountains, it would pose an enduring threat to both Pakistan and Afghanistan. History proves the mountains are a near-insurmountable bastion for terrorists.
The Taliban has outlasted United States forces. All the air raids and ground forces deployed over the course of the war on terror were unable to rout the Taliban from the mountains.
Now Pakistan and Afghanistan face a new and equally deadly threat that could quickly move into the region. Those who watched the recruitment video were not left having to guess the Islamic State’s intentions. The video ends in typical Islamic State fashion—with a decapitation. The victim appears to be a Pakistani soldier.
Despite the obvious aggression and threat posed by the Islamic State, there has been little response from the Pakistani military. However, this is not a new trend. The Pakistani military failed to adequately check the arrival and resurgence of al Qaeda cells after the terrorists fled Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11. Once the groups were allowed to flourish, they dug in. If the military isn’t careful, the Islamic State will make it pay again for its inaction.
The Islamic State has already reversed U.S. efforts in Iraq, and now it threatens to bring further bloodshed and violence to the already troubled region of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Watch as the Islamic State continues to destabilize the broader Middle East. Such action is already triggering response from key nations such as Iran and Germany. Longtime Trumpet readers will recognize the importance of these nations in Bible prophecy in the Middle East. The Islamic State is quickly creating an opportunity for these nations to become more involved. Keep watching theTrumpet.com for more updates—such involvement is prophesied to bring more pain than the Islamic State could ever hope to inflict. ▪