The Weekly Standard
An ex-Guantanamo detainee based in northern Pakistan is leading an effort to recruit jihadists for the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that controls large portions of Iraq and Syria.
Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, who was detained at Guantanamo for three years, has sworn allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Dost’s oath of allegiance was issued on July 1, just two days after Baghdadi named himself “Caliph Ibrahim I” and declared that his Islamic State was now a “caliphate.”
Pakistani officials have accused Dost of recruiting jihadists for Baghdadi’s organization. He is thought to be behind a graffiti campaign, which aims to spread pro-Islamic State messages throughout northern Pakistan.
According to Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper, Dost has even been named the head of the Islamic State’s presence in the “Khorasan,” an area that covers much of Central and South Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.
U.S. officials have confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD that Dost is recruiting for the Islamic State. It is not clear how effective his efforts have been, given that Dost and his supporters are operating in areas that are strongholds for al Qaeda and the Taliban, both of which are opposed to Baghdadi’s “caliphate” project.
Thus far, the Islamic State has had only limited success in Pakistan and elsewhere in attracting established jihadists to its cause. However, Dost, who is in his 50s, is a veteran jihadist leader.
Dost was originally detained in Pakistan in late 2001. He was transferred to U.S. custody and detained at Guantanamo for three years. Dost was already a veteran jihadist with a thick dossier at the time.