Winner 2015

ISIS in Afghanistan


At great personal risk, veteran afghani journalist Najibullah Quraishi, a FRONTLINE correspondent, and his producing team drove deep into ISIS-held territory in eastern Afghanistan in 2014 to document its growing power and appeal. Many of the ISIS fighters defected from the Taliban and Al Qaeda. One ISIS leader says the reason is that the Taliban “are puppets of Pakistan (while) ISIS answers only to God.” But Quraishi also reports that ISIS “pays better,” about $700 a month, which is serious money in such a poor country. In another part of Afghanistan, he inter-views masked teenagers who have pledged them-selves to suicide bombing. Even more unnerving, he visits an ISIS school where beautiful children as young as five are being indoctrinated in jihad and taught how to hold and fire automatic weapons and throw grenades. In a parallel trek into Taliban territory, meanwhile, he finds leaders clearly nervous about the ruthlessness of their Islamic rivals. For its sobering, nonsensational documentation of how quickly ISIS can spread and hold sway, ISIS in Afghanistan wins a Peabody Award.


Director and Videographer: Najibullah Quraishi. Senior Producer: Dan Edge. Executive Producer, Clover Films: Jamie Doran. Managing Editor, FRONTLINE: Andrew Metz. Executive Producer, FRONTLINE: Raney Aronson.