Pentagon in a new report says that Islamic State group is eyeing on the Natural Resources of Afghanistan.
Citing the Pentagon report, The Diplomat an online international news magazine that also writes analysis says that even though it is unknown if Islamic State would be able to hold swaths of land in Afghanistan but it is obviously possible that the group will seek to beat the country’s poorly monitored mining industry to fund their operations in Iraq and Syria.
The Diplomat further states that the majorities of the estimated $3 trillion worth of mineral resources of Afghanistan are undeveloped, abandoned, awaiting new contracts or excavated by local community members (Especially warlords).
According to the Diplomat the Islamic State is attempting to gain a toehold in Afghanistan and the worsening security situation could pave way for the group to enhance operations.
The Diplomat further states that due to the widespread corruption and lack of coordination between various Afghan ministries and security agencies Afghanistan’s Natural Resources remain open to illegal extractions.
It also states that the ongoing fighting has caused a significant rise in illegal extraction of mines and that several international investors have stepped back from contracts or expressed concern over the insecurity, which is a major blow to the mining industry in the country.
The Diplomat citing a report issued by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in April says that illegal extraction of mines cost Afghanistan at least $300 million annually since the fall of Taliban in 2001.
The Diplomat further states most of Afghanistan’s illegally extracted mines are going to Pakistan, adding that the leadership of Daesh’s Khorasaan province is predominantly comprised of former Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commanders which makes the smuggle of Afghanistan’s illegally extracted mines to Pakistan easy.
Islamic State of Daesh was operating in Iraq and Syria for years but it emerged in Afghanistan months before.