Daily Evacuation Brief | February 4, 2022
Daily news about Afghanistan and the surrounding region
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LAST 24 HOURS:
· Several arrests have been made around Afghanistan. The majority appear to be former Parliamentary staffers. No reason was given for the arrests.
· While students returned to some Universities, the female population did not return in force and there are serious issues with providing enough professors for the segregated classrooms.
· ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi killed himself in the wake of a US special operations raid in Northern Syria.
NEXT 24 HOURS:
· More arrests are expected in Mazar, Herat, Kabul, and Khost as the Taliban continue a roundup of former government staff personnel.
· US forces and diplomatic posts are expected to elevate alert levels at facilities abroad to prepare for potential ISIS reprisals.
· US troops will continue deployments to the Baltic states in response to the Russian threat to Ukraine.
The ISIS-K Threat
CONTEXT: A US intelligence community assessment was presented to US lawmakers on February 1st in Washington DC. The assessment claimed credible information suggested that ISIS-K has the intention of carrying out an attack on a US target and that it could be ready to do so within six months.
DISCUSSION: ISIS-K is seeing a resurgence across the globe. Analysts have consistently warned they would begin carrying out operations after a period of reconsolidation and reorganization. The major advantage ISIS-K has as a potential terror threat to the US is that they operate within a country where the US no longer has ‘eyes’ and there are vast stockpiles of weapons at their disposal.
While the US military contends it has the capacity to strike at ISIS-K targets, they will have to do so from an accommodating neighbor such as Pakistan. It will be difficult for the US and its allies to prosecute an effective campaign against ISIS-K.
For the casual observer, suggesting ISIS-K could manage an international operation seems far-fetched. Reports from Afghanistan suggest they have only been able to execute limited attacks targeting local military/police forces and civilians. The Taliban is actively hunting ISIS-K and have done a reasonable job of protecting critical infrastructure such as airports and power stations. In short, ISIS-K is seen to be marginally effective and more preoccupied with prosecuting a guerrilla campaign within the borders of Afghanistan than planning an attack on the US, but they shouldn’t be discounted.
ANALYSIS: The next few months will be telling for what security threats the world may face from a destabilized Afghanistan. The Spring will likely bring conflict and ISIS-K will benefit from sitting on the sidelines while the Taliban wars with itself or with a reconstituted Northern Alliance. ISIS-K operatives will be able to move relatively freely and now have the use of international airports from which they can travel abroad. They have access to virtually anything they need to make bombs or other terror devices. NATO and US efforts to strike ISIS-K may be somewhat effective but will probably not do enough damage to thwart a potential terror attack in North America or Europe.
Our analysts agree ISIS-K poses the most dangerous threat to NATO countries and, thanks to an existing international support structure, is the only organization in the ‘new’ Afghanistan who can operate globally.
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 99.63 AFN (as of 4 FEB 2022)
Afghanistan Plans to Conduct Nationwide Census
The National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA) is planning to a launch nationwide census, saying that there is no exact information about the populations living in Afghanistan…
Afghan universities reopen with strict rules for female students
By The Guardian
Public universities in Kandahar and Helmand provinces in Afghanistan have reopened after being closed for nearly nine months, with some female students joining classes…
UN, Afghan Women Demand Answers Over More Missing Activists
Mursal Ayar, a member of Junbish-e-Zanan, has been detained by the Islamic Emirate in Kabul, her colleagues claimed, saying that she was taken to an unknown location. A second female activist has allegedly gone missing in the last day, but confirmed information is not yet available…
Moderate magnitude 4.8 earthquake 71 km west of Kabul, Afghanistan
An earthquake of magnitude 4.8 occurred only 9 minutes ago 71 km west of Kabul, Afghanistan, India's National Center for Seismology (NCS) reported...
Moscow to host next Troika Plus on Afghanistan
By The Afghanistan Times
Russia’s special representative to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov announced that his country will host Troika Plus on Afghanistan in January 2022 inviting the US, China, and Pakistan.
International News Relating to Afghanistan
Afghanistan Withdrawal 'Heartening' to Vladimir Putin, Warns Dem Rep. Sent to Ukraine
By Ewan Palmer – Newsweek
Rep. Tom Malinowski has said the fallout from the U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan has been "heartening" to President Vladimir Putin of Russia because it dents America's reputation on the world stage…
Can Biden Overcome Accusations of Weakness With ISIS Raid?
By Paul D. Shinkman – US News and World Reports
President Joe Biden along with his supporters on Thursday appeared eager to capitalize on a much-needed national security “win,” touting his decision to risk the lives of American service members in a raid to kill the Islamic State group’s latest leader rather than risking Syrian civilian casualties with an airstrike…
Women’s role in the future of Afghanistan
By the Atlantic Council
On Wednesday, January 19, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and the US-Afghan Women’s Council co-hosted a conversation on women’s role in the future of Afghanistan…
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