The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
On December 12, 2022, the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) announced that its operatives in Afghanistan carried out a suicide attack on the Kabul Longan Hotel.
ISIS-K Claims Responsibility
A few hours after the attack, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack. In a short statement, the group claimed that two inghmasi, or commando-type fighters who carry out attacks behind enemy lines, detonated two explosive briefcases which were planted earlier, targeting an event hall hosting a party of Chinese nationals and a reception lobby on the first floor.
The statement described the attack further: "The first inghimasi fighter lurked on the second floor, throwing hand grenades at apostate Taliban members who were trying to come upstairs[.] Meanwhile the second inghimasi started blowing up the doors of apartments in ascending order using sticky bombs and opening fire on Chinese guests, killing at least 30 unbelievers and apostates and torching various sections of the hotel."
Attackers' Identity, Weapons Used In Attack
Subsequently, ISIS-K released an image showing the perpetrators of the attack, identified as Abu 'Umar and 'Abduljabbar. Both attackers were shown posing in the same location, holding a handgun and raising the righthand index in an Islamic gesture of monotheism. The photos also depicted another handgun, nine hand grenades, several small packs which appear to be sticky bombs, a bag of handgun bullets, and two explosive belts.
Later the same day, December 12, ISIS's A'maq News Agency released a short video clip of the inghimasi fighters, seated and holding hands, swearing the oath of allegiance to newly appointed ISIS caliph Abu Al-Husayn Al-Husayni Al-Qurashi prior to the attack.
A'maq Video, ISIS-K Photo Apparently Taken Inside Longan Hotel
In its claim of attack, ISIS-K said the attackers detonated two briefcases planted inside the hotel prior to the attack, suggesting they visited the hotel prior to the attack, or even stayed there as guests.
MEMRI JTTM assessed the backdrop of the image and surrounding setting and found similarities between the ISIS-K photo and one of a hotel room on an Arabic-language international booking website. The similarities include the charcoal-color armchair used to display the ammo and explosives reportedly used in the attack, the hardwood floor, as well as the decorative door used to hang the ISIS flag in the footage.
ISIS Supporters Celebrated Attack Hours Before Official Claim
Hours before ISIS officially claimed responsibility for the attack, ISIS supporters published posts on social media celebrating a reported attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, and speculating that it was planned and carried out by ISIS operatives in Afghanistan.
"Allah Akbar, a grand event is taking place against the infidels at the Chinese hotel in Kabul. A successful operation, praise be to Allah," wrote a supporter in a post on the ISIS-operated Rocket Chat server. He further shared a link to a report on the attack published by Al-Akhbar, a pro-Lebanese Hizbullah daily.
A pro-ISIS Telegram channel shared two videos that have been circulating on social media showing the hotel under attack. The channel wrote:
"Violent attack in the capital, Kabul. The attack targeted a hotel where international guests, particularly those from China, are staying, in the Shahr-e-Naw area."
Saying the attack was launched that day and is still ongoing, the post claimed several people have been killed and wounded and that the attackers have seized control of the hotel, as confirmed by local sources.
The post further pointed out that the attack comes a few days after Chinese Ambassador Wang Yu visited the hotel, where he met with leaders of the "Taliban militias."
"Nightmare For The Atheistic Chinese"
On December 13, an ISIS supporter on the ISIS-operated Rocket Chat server published an English-language poster titled "Nightmare for the Atheistic Chinese," celebrating the group's attack on a hotel in Kabul that was popular among Chinese nationals.
The poster, which features the images of the two attackers and of Chinese President Xi Jinping, threatened: "The enemies of Allah will not see anything from us except for harshness and severity whoever among you escapes our explosives and is not reached by our weapons will certainly die on account of being enraged at our victory."
Previously, ISIS had issued multiple threats against China, urging Muslims in the country to declare jihad against the Chinese government. In a 2019 article featured in the group's weekly newspaper Al-Naba', titled "Who Will Stop The Crimes of the Communist Regime in China," ISIS called on Muslims around the world to target Chinese people by killing and abducting them, and to attack Chinese economic investments, embassies, and interests.
The 2019 article urged ISIS fighters to prepare to engage in a lengthy war against "the polytheists of China in order to remove their polytheism, rescue Muslims, and protect Muslims outside China from being harmed by the Chinese or having their unbelief imposed on them."
 Telegram, December 12, 2022.
 Tourist.faharas.net, December 13, 2022.
 December 12, 2022.
 Telegram, December 12, 2022.
 December 13, 2022.
The full text of this post is available to subscribers.
Please login or register to request subscription information from MEMRI