January 11, 2015
A new video shows a group of Afghan and Pakistan militants who have pledged allegiance to, the first such video to come out of the region. The video shows a large group of militants waving ISIS flags in a forest. Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid is seen in the video declaring support for ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The video will inevitably add to concern about ISIS’ expanding influence in the region, which had long been dominated by more region-specific Taliban leaders. Shahid was one of several Pakistani Taliban figures who left the group in favor of ISIS. Young jihad-minded Afghans, who have traditionally also been Taliban recruits, have been a lot more interested in flocking to Syria and Iraq in recent months to join ISIS.