Six former Taliban commanders who defected to Islamic State (Isis) have switched their allegiance back to the Taliban claiming that Daesh (Isis) is ‘too brutal and inhuman’. The defectors were concerned that Isis did not follow the teachings of Islam, punished civilians too harshly and were obsessed with beheadings.
Isis has a presence in eastern Afghanistan, most notably in both Kunar and Nangahar provinces that have seen a rise in Daesh militants, who have pledged ‘bayah’ or their allegiance to kingpin Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Afghanistan is braced for Taliban’s annual spring offensive codenamed “Operation Omari” after the organisation’s founder Mullah Mohammad Omar.
The Taliban has pledged new attacks on the Kabul government as well as foreign forces in the war-torn nation. But despite their reputation as fearless and uncompromising jihadis, the brutality of Isis militants was a step too far for the six commanders, judges and fighters, who pledged their allegiance to Taliban’s leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour on Monday.
Mullah Abdul Jabbbar, a Taliban commander in Nangarhar, told NBC News: “Their brutality and inhuman activities earned them foes but it helped us as not only the common Afghan but their own commanders and fighters started hating them and their policies.”
Another two defectors said they were tempted by more money and better weapons but became disaffected by the beheadings and insistence in punishing civilians. Isis in eastern Afghanistan is thought to consist of Afghan and Pakistani insurgents setting up training camps.
Two seasoned Taliban fighters, Arabistan and Zaitoun, spoke to CNN about their lives serving Daesh. “They just like beheadings,” says Zaitoun. “I remember when they beheaded seven people in the bazaar, including government workers and Pakistani Taliban.
“I saw the five-meter piece of wood they did it on, covered in blood. They just threw the bodies away, unburied. It was very un-Islamic.”
Isis leaders have reportedly ordered the burning of villages and seized cattle in Afghanistan and in December the extremists, based most prominently in Syria and Iraq released a video calling the Taliban deviant.