This past Thursday, a number of explosions rocked the area around Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan and a branch of the terrorist group known as the Islamic State is currently suspected to be the one responsible for the execution of the attacks.
This new splinter group is known as “ISIS-K,” which marks it as the “Khorasan” branch of the Islamic State over in Afghanistan. Khorasan is part of a wider historical region and “a vast territory now lying in northeastern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, and northern Afghanistan,” as read from Britannica.
As reported by the Center for Strategic and International Studies back in 2018, “Like the Islamic State’s core leadership in Iraq and Syria, IS-K seeks to establish a Caliphate beginning in South and Central Asia, governed by sharia law, which will expand as Muslims from across the region and world join.”
As reported by the New York Times reported this past Wednesday, The group was founded roughly six years ago “by disaffected Pakistani Taliban.” It has been the instigator of a large number of attacks carried out in Afghanistan this year alone. “American military and intelligence analysts say threats from the group include a bomb-laden truck, suicide bombers infiltrating the crowd outside Hamid Karzai International Airport, and mortar strikes against the airfield,” stated the outlet on Wednesday.
As stated by CTV News of Canada, “In the first four months of 2021, the UN says that there were 77 attacks in Afghanistan that were attributed to or claimed by ISIS-K. That’s up from the same period in 2020, which saw only 21 ISIS-K attacks.”
A fellow in foreign and defense policy for the American Enterprise Institute, Katherine Zimmerman, stated to Fox News that the group has a far more strict interpretation of its views of Islam than the Taliban currently holds, which has caused a quite severe antagonistic relationship between the two terror groups.
“They define their enemies differently,” Zimmerman stated. “The Islamic State sees anybody who does not accept its vision as an enemy – that includes the Taliban, that includes the Shia, that includes the west,” she went on to add.
In a statement made this past Tuesday, Old Uncle Joe made note of the terrorist group, saying, “There are real and significant challenges that we also have to take into consideration. The longer we stay, starting with the acute and growing risk of an attack by a terrorist group known as ISIS-K, an ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan — which is the sworn enemy of the Taliban as well — every day we’re on the ground is another day we know that ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both U.S. and Allied forces and innocent civilians.”
As stated by Michael Pregent, a former intelligence officer and senior fellow for the Hudson Institute, to Fox News, “The Taliban is loyal to al Qaeda …They have not pledged loyalty to ISIS-K, but that doesn’t mean they won’t just pause their rivalries to go and make America bleed on the way out.”