January 21, 2016
KABUL - The Afghan reporters recognized the voice threatening them with death on the Islamic State group's local radio station. It was a former colleague, who knows their names and where they work.
The threats were made during a discussion program on "Voice of the Caliphate," an elusive radio station operated by one of the extremist group's newest affiliates. The so-called Khorasan Province has battled Afghan forces and the Taliban alike, carving out an enclave in Nangarhar, a rugged eastern province bordering Pakistan.
The group is actively targeting other media outlets to prevent them from competing with its chilling broadcasts. Militants bombed a building housing two radio stations in the provincial capital, Jalalabad, in October, and attacked the local offices of the independent Pajhwok news agency and Voice of America in July.
The menacing broadcast in mid-December, in which a former local radio broadcaster called on reporters to either join IS or risk being hunted down and killed, could be heard across Jalalabad.
"It is a great concern for us because he knows all the journalists who are working locally," said Shir Sha Hamdard, chairman of the Journalists' Union of Eastern Afghanistan, according to AP.
The message is clear: the Afghan government is a doomed "puppet regime" of the Americans. The Taliban are a spent force hijacked by Pakistan. The caliphate is coming.
"Soon our black flag will be flying over the (presidential) palace in Kabul," an announcer crowed in a recent broadcast. - AP
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