Sultan Aziz Ezam worked at radio stations in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province for nearly 10 years.
Now, the broadcaster is reportedly the voice of the Islamic State’s new “caliphate radio.”
VOA could not confirm the identity of the Islamic State radio announcer. However, local media workers recognize the voice as Ezam’s.
Ezam’s former coworkers said he used to report on land issues for radio stations in the area. Now, they say he is issuing death threats from the Islamic State. Some of those threats target his former coworkers.
The announcer said on IS radio, “I know the addresses of houses of all those journalists who are working with different media organizations.”
Afghan journalists said they are worried about the threats.
About 50 reporters work for local and international news organizations in Nangarhar province.
Afghan journalists told VOA that Ezam and his brother recently left their jobs at a local radio station. They said no one had heard from Ezam until they heard his voice on Islamic State broadcasts.
Afghan government officials said they are aware of the threats against journalists.
The officials also said the Islamic State radio station has not been taken off the air because of technical reasons.
FM radio broadcasts by IS started recently along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The two-hour broadcast includes Quran readings and anti-government propaganda.
Both the Afghan and Pakistani governments say they are looking for the broadcasters. They believe the signal is coming from a mobile transmitter in the mountains.
I’m Christoper Jones-Cruise.
Noor Zahid wrote this story for VOAnews.com. Jim Dresbach adapted it for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
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Words in This Story
caliphate – n. a form of Islamic government led by a caliph—a person considered a political and religious successor to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad
journalist – n. a person who collects, writes and edits news stories for newspapers, magazines, television or radio
mobile – adj. able to be moved
transmitter – n. a device that sends out radio or television signals