This segment originally aired Jan. 3, 2016, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
As ISIS militants suffer setbacks in Syria and Iraq, they appear to be gaining new ground in Afghanistan. Over the past few weeks, the terrorist group has taken advantage of a security vacuum to establish a foothold in Afghanistan’s northeastern border.
Locals say they were attracted to ISIS because it has done a better job of providing for them than the Afghan government.
“If [a family has] 10 people, they’ll pay for 10 people. If there are 20, they’ll pay for 20 people,” an “Uprising” fighter named Hakimullah told VICE News correspondent Ben Anderson in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. “Whereas government employees are dying of starvation.”
And the terror group faces little resistance from the opposition, which includes a random mix of government forces, local militias, and armed civilians. It’s a far cry from what was originally envisioned for the country when the majority of U.S. forces were withdrawn in 2014.