Tue, Sep

“A Country to Build” Part Five: President Ghani’s interview with Time Magazine


President Ghani on the threat from Daesh in Afghanistan

ashraf ghani

If al-Qaeda was version 2.0, [Daesh] is version 4.0. Daesh is not face-to-face. It is face to Facebook. This is a significant difference, because it combines old things, and now the lone wolf phenomenon is produced by ideology, the communication part of Daesh. I’ve put forward these three notions: the ecology, morphology and pathology of terror. Pathology by Daesh is distinctively to swallow its opponents, to frighten the population. In that regard, the threat is very real. The attempted recruitment is of a different standard, and the nature of the conflict that they propose is of a different order, so it needs to be taken seriously. And, if you look at Dabiq, their publication, they are asking all their followers not to go to Iraq and Syria and to go to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. And the movement is made possible by the same networks that make possible the flow of drugs, antiquities and bring oil and other things. Going after the financing and after the criminal economy now, I think, has become imperative.

On the numbers of ISIS fighters in the country

It would be guessing. I would say hundreds, not thousands. But hundreds that are lethal.

On whether Al-Qaeda is still active in Afghanistan

Yes. We’ve eliminated a number of key places and we’ve captured a lot of information. [But] it’s not finished by any means.