What is the purpose of ISIS-K and why did it target Russia?

What is the purpose of ISIS-K and why did it target Russia?

Prior to the catastrophe at a music venue in Moscow on Friday night, Russia had received warnings of an impending terror attack by extremist groups.

However, their intelligence agencies seem to have been caught off guard when four attackers opened fire at Crocus City Hall, where a crowd of 7,000 people were attending a concert featuring the progressive rock band Picnic.

ISIS-K has released videos and messages claiming responsibility for a deadly attack that resulted in the deaths of at least 137 individuals. Over a hundred others were also injured in the incident.

According to the Russian authorities, the suspects involved in the shooting at Crocus City Hall in Moscow used a car to flee the scene.

The four individuals were apprehended and brought to trial shortly after a video surfaced of them being taken to an intelligence agency with their eyes covered.

Who are ISIS-K?

The group known as Islamic State Khorasan, also known as ISIS-K, originated in eastern Afghanistan in late 2014 and gained notoriety for their extreme violence. The name is derived from an ancient term used to describe the region comprising of Iran, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan.

Since 2018, the group’s membership has decreased, but it is still considered one of the most active regional branches of Islamic State. As time has passed, it has faced more attacks from both US forces and the Taliban, resulting in significant casualties for the group.

However, the United States still perceives the group as a danger. In March of last year, Congress was informed that ISIS-K was working on the capability to execute “external operations” in both Europe and Asia.

According to General Michael Kurilla, the leader of US Central Command, it is likely that they will be able to strike US and Western targets beyond Afghanistan within six months, without much warning.

Why attack Russia?

Terrorist groups motivated by Jihad have frequently presented a difficulty to Russia’s safety. ISIS-K has been responsible for the 2017 St Petersburg metro bombing, resulting in 15 fatalities.

The perpetrators began shooting in the entrance of the concert venue.

Primarily located in central Asia, ISIS-K now considers Russia to be on par with the US, whom they perceive as harboring animosity towards the Islamic religion.

Additionally, Russia has been accused of backing the Assad government and their involvement in Syria since 2015, with air strikes taking place as recently as last year.

According to Michael Kugelman from the Wilson Center in Washington, ISIS-K believes that Russia is involved in actions that often suppress Muslim communities.

He stated that the organization also includes several Central Asian fighters who hold their own resentments towards Moscow.

What other offenses have the group executed?

Earlier this year, the US intercepted messages verifying that the organization committed dual bombings in Iran, resulting in the death of approximately 100 individuals who had assembled to mourn the anniversary of Qasem Soleimani’s assassination by US troops.

ISIS-K terrorists announced that they were accountable for a fatal suicide attack at the Russian embassy in Kabul in September 2022.

The group was also behind a strike at the international airport in Kabul in 2021, causing the death of 13 American soldiers and approximately 169 innocent civilians during the chaotic evacuation of the US from the region.

Source: independent.co.uk