The Kabul Airport bomber was originally tasked to attack Delhi
New Delhi, Sep 20: The suicide bomber of the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), Abdul Rehman was originally handpicked to carry out a major attack in New Delhi. Rehman who hails from Afghanistan was the some of a merchant who frequented India for business.
Rehman had taken admission at an engineering college in Noida and he was handpicked to strike in the national capital due to his familiarity with New Delhi. He was however arrested after he came under the radar of the Delhi Police and Research and Analysis Wing.
However after his arrest, he was extradited to Afghanistan and was questioned by the CIA before being put in jail. During his questioning in 2019, he gave information about a top ISKP leader, Firstpost said in a report. The US then eliminated that leader in a drone strike.
An official speaking on condition of anonymity told OneIndia that the ISKP which had commenced operations in Afghanistan had planned on a major attack in Delhi in the year 2016. The ISKP was actively recruiting Indians, especially from Kerala and felt that a major attack of this nature would help boost recruitments further.
The plot was however foiled by the Indian agencies and this led to the arrest of Rehman. However following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Rehman was among the many ISKP terrorists who were released from jail.
Rehman following his release was roped in by the ISKP to carry out the bombing at the Kabul Airport, following the withdrawal by the US troops. The ISIS' official news agency, Amaq said after the bombing that a member called Abdul Rahman al-Logari had carried out the martyrdom operation near the Kabul Airport.
Analysts say that for the ISKP, the Kabul bombing was a major success as it not only did great damage, but also boosted the morale of their terrorists. The ISKP was founded just six years back in Afghanistan. The ISKP focused on recruiting disgruntled Taliban commanders and other terrorists who felt marginalised within the Jihadi ranks. The ISKP which had over 6,000 fighters when it was founded, now has just 1,500 members. It has been at war with the Taliban, but has not found much success.
Indian agencies say that the worry is that Pakistan may use the ISKP as a proxy against India. The Taliban has given an assurance that it would not allow terror groups to use its soil to launch attacks on third countries. While the scrutiny on the Taliban and its allies will be high, the ISI is most likely to use the Islamic State Khorasan Province as a proxy against India, according to estimates by the Intelligence community.
This assessment also comes in the wake of an actionable input by the Intelligence that the ISI could end up using the recruits of the ISIS released by the Taliban from jail to launch attacks against India.
There is no underestimating the ISKP an Intelligence Bureau official tells OneIndia. The outfit has its eyes set on India and this was the reason it went on a recruiting spree from India, following which over 25 Kerala Muslims joined the terror group, the officer also said.