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Da'esh - rumours of its defeat have been greatly exaggerated

Nigel Morris-Co...

Da'esh is proving far more difficult to eradicate than many politicians would have the world believe. Yesterday's attack on Save the Children in Jalalabad, Afghanistan,has been claimed by the group's PR division. But they claim almost every newsworthy attack these days. Does that mean they did, or didn't do it?

The attack on Save the Children comes at a time when Da'esh is stepping up its campaigns in areas that it might consider its homeland. However, The Taliban and its violent spin-off al Qaeda have both said that ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State, Da'esh (to set out just four of the names it is known by) is not associated with them and they deplore its tactics.

That, then, has put Afghanistan in the sights of the radical elements that are at the centre of Da'esh. They have a stated objective which is to create a homeland for their particular, and many consider deviant, form of Islam.Having been harassed our of their strongholds in Syria, Da'esh have set up camp in Nangarhar province in the east of Afghanistan. That puts them within striking distance of major cities.

Last weekend, there was a siege at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. But Jalalabad is a special case. It is the capital of Nangarhar and borders Pakistan, indicating that we can expect to see internecine conflict between fundamentalist Islamic groups vying for territory.

The attack on Save the Children's office was a two part action: first a car bomb was detonated outside the offices and then heavily armed men entered the building. The fate of the charity's staff is not known at the time of writing.

The action demonstrates the obvious truth that Da'esh is not finished; it is not, as politicians have claimed, defeated. Even though its finances have been heavily depleted and its numbers of full time members dramatically reduced, there remain sufficient followers to cause mayhem almost at will. Their communications infrastructure remains in full effect.

Was this a Da'esh attack? There is sufficient information that indicates that it as at least arranged and authorised by what remains of the Da'esh command but whether it was carried out by Da'esh retained forces or by independent cells remains to be seen.