Asif Farooqi: Mastermind of Kabul Gurudwara blast killed
The former IS-K chief was assassinated as a result of an internal fight inside the organisation. According to rumours, the IS-K commander’s body would be transported to his hometown by Tuesday. Following the collapse of the IS-K in Nangarhar province in 2020, Farooqi reached a deal with Afghan forces during the administration of Ashraf Ghani. Shahab Mahajer succeeded him as the head of IS-K.
Farooqi was responsible for the March 2020 attack on a gurudwara in Kabul, which resulted in the death of 27 Sikh worshippers. Locals and close relatives of the IS-K leader confirmed Farooqi’s death, according to numerous local media sources, in his native province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, one of Pakistan’s violent tribal regions along the Afghan border.
He was detained in Kandahar in April 2020 by the Person Directorate of Security (NDS), a spy agency of the former US-backed Afghan government, in connection with a terrorist attack on a gurdwara in Kabul that killed 26 Afghan Sikhs and an Indian national. Farooqi, like other terrorists held in Afghan jails, was released after the Taliban took control of Kabul in August 2021.
Farooqi’s death was the subject of conflicting reports. According to some reports, he was slain during an investigation by the incumbent Afghan government’s security agency into organised kidnappers and criminal mafia. The probe allegedly concluded in a confrontation, in which Farooqi and his aides were slain. However, there have been claims that the IS-K commander was assassinated during internal IS-K turmoil.
This is the second high-profile terrorist commander to be assassinated in the last month. Muhammad Khurassani, the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) operations commander and spokesperson, was slain earlier in Nangarhar province.
Khurassani’s real name was Khalid Balti, and he was around 48 to 50 years old. He was not just the TTP’s operational leader but also its spokesperson at the time of his death. Khurassani was born and raised in Gilgit-Baltistan. In 2007, he became a member of Swat’s Tehreek Nifaze Shariat Muhammadi.