Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) said on Wednesday that they had arrested a top commander of Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) in a raid who acted as a link between the Pakistani intelligence agency – ISI and ISKP.
ISI’s links were also established with other terror outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Haqqani network, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam related to Fazal-ul-Rehman and Taliban Peshawar Shura.
The arrested, Munib Mohammad aka Abu Bilal is a native of Pakistan.
A report by Hindustan Times said that counter-terror operatives in Delhi and Kabul who spoke to the newspaper told them that Munib Mohammad in his two-week-long interrogation had exposed the close nexus between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Islamic State of Khorasan Province. Before joining and moving up the ranks in ISKP, Munib was a fighter for the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
By the time he was arrested by the NDS along with his boss and ISKP chief Aslam Farooqui on April 4, Mohammad had moved up to become a member of the Central Council of Khurasan branch of ISIS and was put as the man in charge of “coordinating with terrorist groups and intelligence agencies of the region”, an NDS statement said.
The reference to “intelligence agencies of the region” in the official statement is a euphemism for Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The arrests of both Farooqi and Munib come in the aftermath of the March 25 attack on a Sikh place of worship in Kabul that killed 27 people including an Indian national for which ISKP claimed responsibility.
Among those arrested was also a Kashmiri, Aijaz Ahmad Ahangar, who had disappeared 25 years ago and was the chief recruiter for the IS in Jammu and Kashmir.
Farooqui, also a Pakistani national in his interrogation had exposed ISI’s links with ISKP and had further revealed that he used Kerala resident Muhsin Tikaripur along with three other Urdu-Punjabi speaking attackers to massacre 27 innocent Sikh men and women in Shor Bazaar, Kabul on the instructions of Haqqani Network and LeT.
“The Afghan security and defense forces after the collapse of Central core of ISKP, are making efforts to crash city cores and another small group of the ISKP,” said NDS statement.
Pakistan’s request for seeking custody of Farooqui insisting that he was involved in terror attacks in Pakistan was rejected by Afghanistan within 24 hours. In fact, former NDS director Rahmatullah Nabil mocked Pakistan in his tweet saying, “Pak military and ISI think that#AFG is in their territory.
They never complied with AFG Government’s request for the handover of Mullah Baradar, Sadar Ibrahim, Mullah Daoud, Mawlawi Mirahmad Gul, Mullah Abdul Salam, and dozens of high ranking Taliban, who were arrested in PAK.”