Islamic State radio evades Afghan authorities

An Islamic State group-backed radio which is on the air in eastern Afghanistan continues to evade the authorities and has said it plans to expand its output.

Meanwhile, an official in Kabul has said international help is needed to track down and stop the transmissions.

News in English

Voice of the Caliphate (Sedai Khelafat) is a recently-emerged FM station which is being heard in Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan.

The radio is operating on a trial basis but will soon launch two hours of regular daily programming, a man identifying himself “Ezam” said on the station in late December.

He said it would extend its editorial coverage by airing bulletins in Arabic from Islamic State’s Al-Bayan radio, which broadcasts in the group’s strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

“We will broadcast news in Pashto, Persian and Uzbek and we will try to do news in English,” Ezam said.

Ezam has accused journalists in Nangarhar’s provincial capital Jalalabad of “working for foreigners” and says they are on a hit list.

Mobile transmitter

The station is using a vehicle-mounted, low-power transmitter which it moves from place to place, an Afghan telecom ministry spokesman told Tolo News TV.

The transmission equipment is easily available and costs around 10,000 dollars, which the militants can easily afford, he said.

The spokesman said there are two ways to halt the broadcasts – either by jamming the station’s signal or by finding and destroying its transmitter.

He said technical support from international security forces is needed to find the exact location of the radio. It is possible that the radio broadcasts from over the border in Pakistan, he said.

Sound effects

During its few weeks on the air the station has been broadcasting anti-government propaganda and calls for young Afghans to join Islamic State.

It carries Islamic chanting and recitations of the Koran and has described itself as the “voice of the hearts of disappointed and grief-stricken people”.

Recent programming has included a Pashto translation of a speech by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in which he urged Muslims to rise up against “infidels”.

Afghan Islamic Press agency’s Nangarhar correspondent says some of the radio’s output is mixed with sound effects of battle – including galloping horses, gunfire and clashing swords.

In December, Voice of the Caliphate aired a sermon delivered by a preacher who warned that Islamic State would behead anyone who continued to serve “democratic and satanic” governments.


Source: BBC 

(photo credit:REUTERS)

(photo credit: REUTERS)

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