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Daesh plans Afghan base targeting ex-USSR — Russian security chief

By AFP - Nov 07,2019 - Last updated at Nov 07,2019

MOSCOW — The head of Russia’s security service on Thursday said the terror group Daesh is setting up a base in Afghanistan to target ex-Soviet countries using militants from Central Asia.

There are increasing activities of Daesh branches in Afghanistan, the chief of Russia’s Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov told a regional security forum in Tashkent, quoted by TASS state news agency.

“Their goal is to increase a base to expand into the CIS [ex-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States] territory.” 

He said Daesh was uniting branches in Afghanistan and working in tandem with a group called Jamaat Ansarullah and the East Turkestan... movement.

The expansion into the ex-Soviet countries “will be done by militants who are citizens of central Asian republics with experience of warfare as members of terrorist groups,” Bortnikov said.

The comments come on the heels of an attack on Wednesday on a border post in Tajikistan which officials blamed on members of Daesh who crossed over from Afghanistan. 

Tajikistan authorities said 15 attackers were killed and four detained, while a soldier and a policeman were also killed.

Tajikistan and other ex-Soviet countries of central Asia have been major sources of recruits for radical groups in Syria and Iraq, with some travelling there from Russia where many work as labour migrants.

Daesh propaganda outlets have referred to territories in Central Asia as “wilayas”, or provinces, which are part of Daesh “caliphate”.

The group’s militants have also claimed several attacks in Tajikistan, including a hit-and-run that killed four Western tourists on a cycling trip last summer.

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