US Afghan commander: Reports of ISIS recruiting

Army Gen. John Campbell, the top commander in Afghanistan, said there have been reports that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS, or ISIL) is operating in Afghanistan.

Campbell said ISIS is recruiting in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to the Army Times.

The four-star general made similar remarks in a recent interview with The Hill.

“There’ve been some reports. [Afghanistan President Ashraf] Ghani’s talked about it publicly,” he said.

{mosads}”He believes that the potential for ISIL to come into Afghanistan is always out there. And they’ve had some reports here and some reports in Pakistan of recruiting. Some night letter drops, those kind of things,” Campbell said.

Campbell said the ideology between the Taliban’s leader, Mullah Omar, and ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, are “completely different.”

“For the most part, the Taliban would not let ISIL come into Afghanistan,” he said. “But there’s going to be a newer piece of the Taliban, a younger piece that [will look for] opportunities to look to ISIL and want bring that into Afghanistan, and we should never not think that’s not possible.”

Campbell told The Hill that he’s “worried” about the U.S.’s ability to keep pressure on al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan.

“We have significantly degraded the al Qaeda capability, but we believe if we don’t keep pressure on that, it’s only a matter of time — it will be able to grow very quickly,” Campbell said.

ISIS coming into Afghanistan is “again another reason to continue to keep the pressure on them from a [counterterrorism] perspective,” he said. 

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