Will Syrian Khurasan Surface in Pakistan Too?

Posted September 23rd, 2014 at 7:54 pm (UTC+0)
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ISIS chief ISIS chief Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi
By Behroz Khan
As US president Obama and Pentagon confirmed attacking the al-Qaeda linked Khurasan group in Syria on Monday night, the US intelligence experts have indicated the group has links with terrorists hiding in Pakistan’s border regions near Afghanistan. If true, the revelations will send ripples in Islamabad’s power corridors, taking Pakistan once again to the central stage of the terror theater.
President Obama said: “Last night, we also took strikes to disrupt plotting against the United States and our allies by seasoned al Qaeda operatives in Syria who are known as the Khurasan Group.”
The US president said it must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.
US Experts’ Take on Khurasan:
A former CIA deputy director Mike Morell explained on “CBS This Morning” that a group of militants from al Qaeda-central, near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, have joined the fight in Syria and “evolved into the external operations arm” of the group’s franchise in that country, the al-Nusra Front. Referring to the terrorist Islamist outfit, he said: “Khurasan members came from Pakistan,” said Morell. “They focus on attacks in the West.
David Mack, Middle East Institute expert and former US career diplomat to a number of Arab states said Khurasan is a loose coalition of Arab and non-Arab terrorist organizations. In an interview with VOA Deewa, he said: “Khurasan appeals to the Arab nationalism.”
Ismail Khan, VOA Deewa reporter says the Syria-based Khurasan group is led by a 30-year old Qatari militant Mohsin al-Fadali and the group is different from the one active in Pakistan. He, however, said the group has members from Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan.
Khurasan in Pakistan:
Khurasan is apparently a splinter militant group which hitherto worked under the umbrella of Tehrik Taliban Pakistan known as TTP. Its present leader Abdul Wali, also known as Khalid Khurasani is from Mohmand tribal district of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. Khurasani was a student leader and belonged to Islami Jamiat Talaba, the student wing of Jamaat-i-Islami, having its ideology and inspiration from the Egypt-based Muslim Brotherhood founded by Syed Qutab.
After the announcement of Caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIL), Khalid Khurasani distanced himself from the TTP and aligned his group with the ISIL. Graffiti like ‘Long Live Daesh (IS)’ and ‘Salute to Daesh’ have been appearing in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan and Pakhtunkhwa provinces bordering Iran and Afghanistan. The group is mainly cashing in sectarian strife in the Balochistan region.
Khalid Khurasani parted ways with the TTP’s Mehsud faction after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a suspected drone strike on 1st November 2013 in North Waziristan. The differences between the Mehsud factions led to the division of TTP where most of the smaller groups remained under the leadership of its new chief, Mulla Fazlullah, who was head of TTP Swat. The TTP was kept united to a great extent reportedly due to active role played by Sirajuddin Haqqani of the Haqqani Network and the Al-Qaeda leader Aiman Al-Zawahiri. However, TTP chief Mulla Fazullah expelled Khalid Khurasani from his group as both terror leaders couldn’t resolve their differences.
Myth about Jihad-i-Khurasan
Influenced by their Arab brothers-in-faith, Khalid Khurasani and his followers too believe that the movement for the glory of Islam will emerge from the Mountains of Khurasan, the ancient name of present-day Afghanistan and will conquer the world to be followed by the Doomsday. The concept of Jihad-i-Khurasan came to Afghanistan and Pakistan with the arrival of Arab fighters during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, which was later shaped into al-Qaeda headed by Osama Bin Laden. The al-Qaeda chief was killed in a raid on his fort-like abode in Pakistan’s garrison city of Abbottabad by US Navy Seals on May 2, 2011.
Apart from Jihad-i-Khurasan, al-Qaeda has recently announced formation of its Indian chapter, which the Indian Intelligence Bureau has dubbed as the handiwork of Pakistan ISI. Al-Qaeda is spreading propaganda quoting unauthentic sayings of prophet of Islam that Jihad-i-Khurasan and Jihad-ul-Hind must take place before Islam dominates all other religions and states around the world.

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