IS launches anti-govt radio station in Afghanistan to recruit youths

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier speaks on a radio at an outpost in Helmand province, December 20, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

JALALABAD, Afghanistan: Insurgents linked to the militant Islamic State (IS) group have launched an anti-government radio station in Afghanistan to promote IS and attract new recruits, TOLONews reported.

The radio station "Voice of the Caliphate" broadcasts in Pashto through Nangarhar provincial capital Jalalabad and other districts, Nangarhar provincial council members, MPs and residents confirmed on Wednesday.

The broadcasting location is unknown but the provincial governor's spokesman Attaullah Khogyani has said that efforts are under way to get the station off air.

"This radio is broadcasting from across the border and we had talks and maybe we reach a good result and remove the radio," Khogyani said without clarifying who talks had been held with.

The broadcast content includes anti-establishment messages calling on the youth to turn against the government and join the ranks of IS.

Nangarhar provincial council member Nasir Kamawal said, "It is clear they [IS] have their own radio and I think it is broadcasting... and doing too much anti-government propaganda."

MP Fridon Khan Mohmand said, "This radio will have a negative impact on us Muslims and the new generation and youth."

Residents who have tuned in to the station say IS broadcasts a message of militancy against the government and encourages youths to fight the administration.

"Most of the publicity is that we must fight against the government," said a resident.

"The government must shut the radio station down because the radio really has an effect on the youth," another resident said.

A third resident fears IS is targeting unemployed youths, whom they are recruiting to fight their wars.

However, the Nangarhar Information and Culture Department is unaware of the station. "We are not aware about the radio station which is broadcast in insecure areas," the department head Aworang Samim said.

IS first began radio broadcasts in Iraq in early 2015.