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FRONTLINE | ISIS in Afghanistan

Posted by WMHT Web Editor on

Watch Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 10 pm on WMHT TV

ISIS’s rapid expansion across Iraq and Syria in 2014 shocked the world. Now, the self-proclaimed Islamic State is on the rise in Afghanistan — and they say they're getting young kids to join the jihad.

In a Nov. 17 special report called ISIS in Afghanistan, FRONTLINE reveals the degree to which ISIS is gaining a foothold in the country, and how they’re focusing their efforts on training a new generation of jihadists: children as young as three.

The documentary follows FRONTLINE reporter Najibullah Quraishi on a dangerous journey inside ISIS-held territory in Afghanistan.

Quraishi’s access and footage are rare and remarkable: Local ISIS leadership invited him to film inside a school where children are taught “jihad lessons,” and he films another group of children being taught how to kill people, how to behead, and how to become suicide bombers.

Quraishi, an Afghan journalist, has covered the war between the Taliban and the American-led coalition in Afghanistan for more than a decade, including in The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan, which exposed the disturbing practice of “bacha bazi," or "boy play,” and Opium Brides, which explored the unexpected collateral damage of the country’s counter-narcotics effort.

In this FRONTLINE special, Quraishi sheds new light on the Islamic State’s presence in Afghanistan. In addition to documenting ISIS’s disturbing methods of training young children, Quraishi shows first-hand how the group is expanding its control in the country, fighting some members of the Taliban and co-opting others, and also battling Afghan forces.

With President Obama keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan amid growing violence, ISIS in Afghanistan is a timely and chilling look at a dangerous new threat.

FRONTLINE’s Nov. 17 hour will also include a second segment exploring a Pakistani police unit's fight against the Taliban, whose militants now have a strong presence in the slums encircling the city of Karachi. In Taliban Hunters, reporter Mobeen Azhar rides along with a counter-terrorism unit in Karachi that’s dedicated to tracking down Taliban suspects.

FRONTLINE’s hour-long presentation of ISIS in Afghanistan and Taliban Hunters premieres Tuesday, November 17, at 10pm on WMHT and will stream in full, for free, online at pbs.org/frontline.

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