Amid a growing outcry over the recent emergence in Nangarhar of a Daesh radio station, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) has arrested a journalist who allegedly worked for the station.
This comes after reports emerged last week that Daesh had launched an FM radio station that broadcasts through Jalalabad and districts in the province in a bid to promote the group and recruit new fighters.
According to Nangarhar residents, the radio station known as “Caliphate Radio” promotes radicalism in support of Daesh by broadcasting anti-government rhetoric. The residents have appealed to government to take immediate action against the station in order to stop the militant group from influencing the local youth.
Locals say the government has still not managed to track down the exact location from where Daesh is broadcasting.
But the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology said that the radio station is operating from a mobile studio and moves around the province.
This comes amid a rapidly deteriorating security situation in Nangarhar following a surge in Taliban attacks and the emergence of Daesh – leaving hundreds of families displaced.
The radio station reportedly started broadcasting a week ago.
But reports have emerged that the Afghan spy agency – the NDS – has arrested a reporter who allegedly works for the radio station.
“We believe that if actions are not taken against the move, consequences will be enormous to the people. Government has millions of dollars in equipment which is capable of terminating the transmission. So all Afghan intelligence agencies in cooperation with NATO must stop this radio,” Mujib Khelwatgar, a member of NAI – a group supporting open media in Afghanistan – said on Sunday.
Since its emergence, Daesh has been extremely active in social media in its bid to recruit militants. Reports found that Daesh also has access to equipment which can help the group to establish contacts with its associates in Syria and Iraq.
“We are seriously working with security institutions, because it is a major concern to us. NDS has already arrested one of the journalists affiliated to Daesh radio. The radio operates through mobile equipment, it changes locations whenever we send out troops,” the spokesman for the ministry of communication and information technogloy Yasin Samim said.
Residents in Nangarhar said on Sunday that in addition to inflicting security threats, Daesh is also trying to destroy cemeteries and sacred places.
“We want the government to take action soon, because this has a negative impact on the youth in Nangarhar and it strengthens Daesh,” Nangarhar resident Mohammad Rassoul said.
“This radio is having a bad impact on the people. Whenever people listen to this, they hear Daesh propaganda and anti-government rhetoric,” another resident Mohammad Rassoul said.