The ideology of the extremely militant branch of ISIS “Islamic State Khorasan” (ISK) is also caught up in Germany: five members of a suspected cell, who, according to the federal prosecutor’s office, have been radicalized and controlled mainly by this terrorist militia, are currently before the competent higher regional court in Düsseldorf. The…
The ideology of the extremely militant branch of ISIS “Islamic State Khorasan” (ISK) is also caught up in Germany: five members of a suspected cell, who, according to the federal prosecutor’s office, have been radicalized and controlled mainly by this terrorist militia, are currently before the competent higher regional court in Düsseldorf. The indictment reads like a crime thriller.
Two members of the German IS group reportedly traveled to Tirana in February 2019 to kill an Albanian businessman. The costs of this killing contract – $ 40,000 – should therefore come entirely to the IS. But the plan failed, according to the attorney general, because the two men could not identify the potential victim beyond all doubt. After their return, the weapon of this slaughter organized by Chechen contacts in Austria was handed over to a third party who wanted to use it to carry out an assassination attempt on a Youtubeur from Neuss who criticized Islam. According to investigators, photos of his corpse were to be posted on the Internet for ISIS propaganda purposes. This was reportedly discussed with a senior contact person in Afghanistan. “The attack could only be prevented by the intervention of a special working group shortly after the handing over of the weapon,” he said.
The indictment also reveals how well the cell has been integrated into Islamist terrorist networks around the world: according to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, it helped radicalize the killer who killed four people in a truck in Stockholm on April 7, 2017. Members were therefore also in contact with people in the vicinity of the ISIS attack in Vienna, in which four people were shot and 20 others were injured in November 2020. Azizjon B. would have played a key role among the five defendants, all from Tajikistan.
The investigators succeeded in decrypting the data carriers. It turns out, the allegation is, that Azizjon B., on the instructions of senior ISIS senior executives in Afghanistan, managed an extensive ISIS propaganda network with numerous channels in as a German administrator. According to the Federal Attorney General, he was also the central point of contact for fundraising and sending to ISIS “Khorasan Province” and programmed a mobile phone application in Tajik in close cooperation with the leaders. locals to spread their radical Islam. ideology. After the initial arrests, the group then focused, according to the indictment, on radicalizing young Muslims in Germany, recruiting them for ISIS, and raising and transferring funds for the terrorist militia. The group leader has now been sentenced to seven years in prison at first instance, and the trial of five other defendants is expected to continue at least until the end of the year.
It is still not clear how powerful the ISK really is. This regional group was founded in 2015 by representatives of ISIS from central Iraqi and Syria and former Pakistani Taliban, joined by fighters from around the world and the Afghan Taliban. After the Afghan Taliban leadership reached an agreement with the United States on the terms of the withdrawal, reports suggest that many Taliban have defected to the ISK. Estimates of its strength vary widely. There are reports that there were only between 500 and 1,000 fighters last. In the meantime, however, it should be significantly more.
The Taliban and ISIS are enemies. Not only the Afghan government fought the terrorist militias, but also the Taliban. Because the ISK is responsible for hundreds of attacks in Afghanistan. In May, for example, attacks on a girls’ school in Kabul left more than 90 dead and around 300 injured. And after the suicide bombing at Kabul airport last Thursday, the ISK again attempted Monday to attack retreating US troops. There were initially no reports of casualties or damage from the rocket fire.