Islamic State (ISIS) in an extension of its Wilayah restructuring has announced that it has created a Wilayah Pakistan or a province in Pakistan on Wednesday, May 15 after claiming two recent attacks in Pakistan. Following the deadly attacks IS created of Wilayah al-Hind (India) with a statement claiming an attack in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
In a statement issued on May 15 the terrorist group claimed a gun attack on a police officer in the Mustang area, 40 km south of Quetta in Pakistan’s province Balochistan. One police officer was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in that area on May 12.
A second statement quickly followed, with ISIS claiming a gun attack on “elements of the Taliban movement” also in Quetta. This may refer to what The Nation reported as an attack on a group of laborers on May 14 that killed three people and injured a fourth.
The terrorist organisation’s attacks in Pakistan have been claimed in the name of “Wilayah Khorasan”, a historical area of Central Asia which consists of modern Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
A few days before the throwaway mention of a new Pakistan province, ISIS announced a new “India Province” in the same manner.
Like the attacks in Pakistan, ISIS has previously attributed attacks in Indian held Kashmir to Wilayah Khorasan.
According to the Defense Post, ISIS gave no information about the exact geographic extent of the new al-Hind and Pakistan provinces.
On May 14, ISIS issued several claims for attacks in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar and Kunduz provinces, all attributed to Wilayah Khorasan. This suggests that, for the time being at least, Khorasan Province still exists but is much reduced geographically.
Similarly, according to Voice of America, observers say altering its provincial structure and fragmenting the “Khorasan Province” by IS could be aimed at bolstering its credentials after losing its “caliphate” in Syria and Iran, where the terrorists at one point used to control thousands of miles of territory.
“As ISIS [one of several acronyms used for IS] seeks to build and restructure foundations of insurgencies across the globe after its losses in Iraq and Syria, it is attempting to recruit also from Pakistan, a country with an existing jihadi militant population,” tweeted Rita Katz, the director of the SITE Intelligence Group.
The suspected rebranding of ISKP comes as the United Nations earlier this week designated the “Khorasan Province” as a global terrorist, noting the group was formed in January 2015 by former members of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) who pledged allegiance to Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, leader of the ISIS/ISIL.