The Islamic State terror group is recruiting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday.
“We are seeing reports of some recruiting,” said Gen. John Campbell, commander of the Resolute Support mission, during an interview with Army Times. “There have been some night letter drops, there have been reports of people trying to recruit both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, quite frankly.”
The Islamic State, or “Daesh” as they’re called in many parts of the Middle East, have a “hard message to sell” in Afghanistan, but leaders are still concerned about any potential for the group to spread, Campbell said.
“The Taliban have their allegiance to Mullah Omar and a different philosophy and ideology than ISIS, but, potentially, there are people who are disgruntled with the Taliban, they haven’t seen [Taliban commander] Mullah Omar in years, or they want to go a different way,” Campbell said. “So there are people vulnerable to the Daesh message, and so we’re looking at it very hard.”
Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, has voiced his concerns about possible Daesh activity in his country, Campbell said.
“We’ve seen bits and pieces of it,” he said. “We’re doing deep dives into it to make sure we’re seeing everything. I’ve made it a priority intelligence requirement for my staff, but I have not seen a whole bunch of it yet, to tell you the truth.”