[According to the Mansour Taliban faction website, Shahamat, SecDef Carter was visiting Base Fenty, at Jalalabad Airport to inaugurate a new ISIS offensive, claiming that FM radio “Voice of the Caliphate” was broadcast from an intelligence building there. Voice of the Caliphate is broadcasting recruitment calls and paying a high salary, per usual (SEE: What was US Secretary of Defense looking for in Nangarhar?).]
The so-called Islamic State militants have launched a radio station in eastern Nangarhar province, aiming to recruit the country’s youth. The “Voice of the Caliphate” radio station broadcasts propaganda messages and recruitment calls to young Afghans to join the ranks of the militant group and take up arms against the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The broadcasts are adding to concerns about the situation in Nangarhar, where a top U.S. general said last week that IS allies in Afghanistan are trying to establish a regional base.
Nangarhar officials saying that the FM station’s strong signal reaches the provincial capital, Jalalabad – strategically located near the Khyber Pass on a major trade and transport route linking Afghanistan and Pakistan – and nearby districts in the country’s volatile east.
Official of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology told media, they are trying to track down the radio station – allegedly established by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group — that is spreading antigovernment propaganda in eastern Nangarhar Province. It’s not clear when the broadcasts began, but the ministry said that it found about the station “around two weeks ago.”
Meanwhile Nangarhar’s provincial government claims that the “Voice of the Caliphate” is being broadcasted from neighboring Pakistan and even the radio station’s technical capabilities were also provided by a neighboring country or, alternatively, that it is being broadcast via small, portable transmitters.
NAI, supporting open media in Afghanistan issued a statement shortly after reports emerged regarding the launch of the radio station by ISIS loyalists, warning that the launch of the radio station could have a serious negative impact on security situation of the country.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in his visit from Nangarhar on Friday told his Afghan counterpart that the United States is “with you,” committed to supporting Afghan security forces and building their capabilities for years to come.
Carter made a one-day visit to Afghanistan to assess the fragile security situation, amid reports of increased violence and a growing campaign by Islamic State loyalists to gain a foothold in the eastern part of the country.
Carter’s visit occurs as his top commander there, Gen. John Campbell, voiced concerns that foreign fighters from Syria and Iraq are joining with Afghans who have declared loyalty to Islamic State terrorists in the east, near the Pakistan border.
Carter said the Islamic State is “trying to create little nests where they feel there is an opportunity.” The United States is trying to make sure it won’t gain a foothold, particularly in nearby Nangahar province, he said.
There are about 600 U.S. troops at Fenty, one of the key bases where American troops will remain beyond 2016. Other bases have been shut down across the country as the number of U.S. and coalition forces has dropped in recent years. Overall, there are about 14,000 U.S. and coalition troops in the country.
The so called IS radio station is covering widespread propaganda against the Afghan people and government. The launch of media outlets aimed at spreading terror and hatred are against the enforced laws of Afghanistan, the government should use all technical and intelligence facilities in halting the operations of such illegal media outlets.
Launching of such media outlets will have a serious negative impact on freedom of speech in Afghanistan besides creating a gap of mistrust between the people and the government.