ISIS goes on-air in Afghanistan to encourage youth to join ranks - report

© Reuters
Islamic State has launched its own radio station in Afghanistan, encouraging local youth to enroll in jihadi ranks and airing anti-government Islamic rulings, or fatwa. The extremist group’s emissaries have become particularly active in Afghanistan in 2015.

The news of Islamic State’s Afghan radio station was reported by Ahmad Shakib, a Kabul-based journalist working for The New York Times.

The Caliphate Radio is going on-air in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province just east of the capital Kabul, on the Pakistani border.

Expansion of the notorious extremist group into Afghanistan is believed to be linked to plans to take heroin production and trafficking under full control. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is also suspected of nurturing plans to expand its activities further to the north, into the Central Asian countries.

This is not the first time IS has dispersed terrorist propaganda through modern technical means.

Along with HD-quality videos of IS-committed atrocities, the group publishes Dabeq, its notorious online English-language magazine, and distributes propaganda via radio waves.

Islamic State launched a multilingual radio station in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which had a population of two million on June 10, 2015, months before overrunning it.

According to Al Arabiya, the Al-Bayan (The Dispatch) radio network went on air on April 7 in Arabic, Kurdish, English, French and Russian.

“It sounds like we are listening to the BBC,” Al Arabiya News cited Jasmine Opperman, a senior analyst for the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), as saying.

The high quality of the broadcast and the professional tone of the American-accented anchor delivering typical English-language newscast prompted The Washington Post to draw comparisons between Al-Bayan and American National Public Radio (NPR).