New photos released by the Islamic State this week has underlined a scary fact: that the terrorist group is churning out scores of junior jihadists thanks to intensive training camps.
The images uncovered by Vocative reportedly show the extremist group’s first graduating class of soldiers at its Afghanistan training camp, highlighting that the group’s ambitions extend far beyond the Middle East and have moved into the increasingly unstable country.
About 24 armed men were photographed doing various drills and exercises, including those with what appears to be anti-aircraft machineguns.
In January, Islamic State stated that it intended to expand its reach into Afghanistan and has since made its presence felt. In April it claimed responsibility for a suicide attack that killed at least 35 people in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province.
While nowhere near as powerful as the Taliban, Islamic State’s push into the region is concerning for US and NATO forces.
There are fears it may also spark brutal competition with the Taliban, further destabilizing the region and complicating efforts to end a 14-year war, which has now become America’s longest conflict.
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