Few journalists have reported safely from inside ISIS-held territory in Jap Afghanistan, the place the fear group that has claimed duty for final Friday’s assaults in Paris has been gaining floor over the previous 12 months.
However after eight months of making an attempt, FRONTLINE’s Najibullah Quraishi made his manner on this previous summer time, capturing what he noticed on movie.
The ensuing documentary, ISIS in Afghanistan, premieres tomorrow evening on FRONTLINE. It’s a uncommon, firsthand look how the self-proclaimed Islamic State is increasing its grip within the nation, preventing some members of the Taliban and co-opting others, all whereas stepping up assaults towards Afghan forces.
It’s additionally a report of 1 notably disturbing manner the group is making an attempt to develop its affect: coaching kids and youngsters to change into the following technology of jihadis.
Within the beneath excerpt from ISIS in Afghanistan, Quraishi journeys into Chapa Dara district — a area as soon as residence to Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters loyal to Osama bin Laden, and that’s now residence to militants claiming allegiance to ISIS.
The commander there, “Mawlawi,” invitations Quraishi to satisfy two youngsters — Bashrullah, 13, and Naimatullah, 17 — who’re being groomed to change into suicide bombers. They inform Quraishi that they’ve tried on suicide vests, and he asks them in the event that they’ve realized how one can detonate them.
“Sure, I’ve practiced that — my commanders confirmed me how,” Naimatullah says.
The boys go on to inform Quraishi that their trainers are foreigners, however they don’t elaborate. They are saying they’re prepared to hold out their suicide mission every time the order comes.
“Do you even know how one can drive?” Quraishi asks, getting a sure.
Then, he asks the boys whether or not they’ve ever been to high school.
“No,” he’s informed. “We’re right here in Afghanistan, we see all of the fighters, we be taught from them … We need to be like them.”
ISIS in Afghanistan is the most recent FRONTLINE documentary from Quraishi, an Afghan journalist who has lined the battle between the Taliban and the American-led coalition for greater than a decade. His earlier movies embrace The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan, which uncovered the revival of a observe often known as “bacha bazi,” the place younger boys are offered by their households to “entertain” rich retailers and warlords, and Opium Brides, which explored the collateral injury of the nation’s counter-narcotics effort.
However Quraishi discovered what he noticed whereas making this documentary — from the youngsters above, to even youthful kids being taught “jihad classes” — notably unhappy.
“After I noticed these younger kids, I used to be actually, actually upset,” he says at one level within the movie.
“I used to be excited about … Afghanistan’s subsequent technology; what we’ve subsequent,” he says. “These kids who discover ways to kill folks, how one can do jihad, how one can behead, how one can fireplace?”
ISIS in Afghanistan premieres Tues., Nov. 17 at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. CST on PBS stations (test native listings) and on-line at pbs.org/frontline. FRONTLINE’s Nov. 17 episode will even embrace a second section a few Pakistani police unit’s struggle towards the Taliban.