With 700 Afghan evacuees leaving the American military bases hosting them even before availing resettlement services from the US Government, apprehensions of Taliban and Pakistan’s ISI planting jehadis in the guise of refugees has come to the fore.
As many as 1.26 lakh Afghans have been evacuated alongside the withdrawal of allied forces from Afghanistan, mostly by the US and its allies.
Many of the evacuees could be Taliban or ISI moles who could initially lobby in favour of Taliban and subsequently be used for radicalisation activities in the host countries for perpetrating terror blasts.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Pak Army had infiltrated over 50,000 jehadis in the Afghan national defence forces who ultimately compromised the fellow soldiers leading to the meltdown of the forces amid Taliban’s swift takeover of provinces in Afghanistan.
The US was taken aback due to the dual policy of the Pakistan Government-military complex and swift capture of Kabul by Taliban belied the Pentagon estimates of fall of Afghanistan between 18 to 24 months.
While the massive evacuation exercise was undertaken by the allied forces in chaotic withdrawal in the midst of rapid advances by Taliban, a detailed scrutiny and background checks were not undertaken.
The suspicious Afghan evacuees could also be soft targets for recruitment by ISIS in Europe and America.
In the Indian context, Afghan nationals have already been suspected for the mega drugs haul at Mundra port and the possibility of such people with radical background for terrorism cannot be ruled out.
Experts said such radicalised Afghans could also be used for lone wolf attacks and their presence in the host countries could also fuel right wing radicalisation.
Founder of Afghanistan Republic Salvation Front and counter terrorism expert of Afghan origin Dr Ajmal Sohail said, “The US and its allies should speed up scrutiny of all Afghan evacuees in their respective jurisdictions to pinpoint the radicals and isolate them in order to check them from indulgence in subversive activities.”
Counter-Terrorism Dr Rituraj Mate said, “Apart from indulgence in narco trade and radical activities of their parent terror outfits, such radicalised Afghans disguised as refugees or evacuees, could also be exploited by their handlers for espionage and networking with local radical outfits as part Al Qaeda’s Barre Saghir movement for large scale radicalization in the Indian subcontinent.”
The presence of radical Afghans could also lure a section of over ambitious police officers to falsely implicate innocent people as suspects linked to ISIS or Taliban. There is a need to keep a close watch on all such activities to check radicalisation of all hues and check any resultant damages, Dr Mate added.