In a video released on Monday, the Islamic State group targeted the Taliban, saying that its leadership had deviated from the righteous Muslim path, NBC News reported. In the video, a man who identified himself as Abu Yasir Al-Afghani blamed the Taliban for cooperating with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s largest spy agency.
However, Pakistan has denied that assertion. Al-Afghani also accused the Taliban of protecting shrines that the Islamic State group had declared un-Islamic and condemned suspected connections between the Taliban and Iran.
“My message to the Muslim of people of the province of Khorasan and to those youth who are fighting in the ranks of the Taliban is that, the doors of the Islamic State is open for you," said Al-Afghani according to NBC News.
The messages in the video were spoken in Arabic and Pashto, the language spoken by a majority of the Taliban’s ethnic Pashtun fighters and followers. The video emerged less than a week after the Taliban’s new leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, had reportedly been injured during a shootout with other fighters. While the Taliban has released an audio statement claiming it came from Mansour, rumors have asserted that he is dead.
ISIS has reportedly been growing in Afghanistan and recruiting new members from 25 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, according to the Daily Mail. Wilayat Khurasan, ISIS’ regional affiliate, has allegedly rooted itself in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, beginning a vicious movement against local Afghans and promising to defeat any opposition. ISIS fighters have reportedly been recruiting members of the Taliban who are unhappy with its leadership.
“For those who wanted right from the Taliban, come to Islamic State, before they make you and the Afghan Army one entity in the name of nationalism,” a voice said in Arabic said at the beginning of the video.
The video was released on ISIS’ official Telegram channel. Last month, the messaging app claimed it had removed 78 ISIS-related conversation channels across 12 languages after the November terrorist attacks in Paris.