Kabul Gurudwara Attack: Afghan Forces Arrest Alleged IS Mastermind
The IS-claimed attack on a Sikh Gurudwara in Kabul last month killed at least 25 people.
Afghan forces have arrested the leader of the country's Islamic State group affiliate and the mastermind behind the attack on a gurudwara last month that killed 25 worshippers, authorities said Saturday, 4 April.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement that Aslam Farooqi, also known as Abdullah Orakzai, had been arrested along with 19 other men in a "complex operation".
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an NDS official told AFP that Farooqi was the mastermind behind an IS-claimed attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul last month that killed at least 25 people.
Known as Islamic State in the Khorasan (IS-K), the Afghan IS branch has been on its back foot in recent months following continued operations by US forces and separately by the Taliban.
In November, Afghan officials said IS-K had been completely defeated in Nangarhar, one of the key eastern provinces where they first sought to establish a stronghold in 2015.
In the years since, they have claimed responsibility for a string of horrific bombings across Afghanistan.
In its statement, the NDS said Farooqi had admitted to having links with "regional intelligence agencies" – a clear reference to Pakistan, which Afghanistan routinely blames for supporting jihadists and helping the Taliban.
Islamabad denies it does so. US Forces-Afghanistan did not immediately respond to a query about Farooqi's arrest.
(Published in an arrangement with PTI)
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