A serious and specific ISIS-K terrorist threat Looming over the frenzied end of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, time is running out to save the Americans and the fate of the fleeing Afghans seems darker by the hour.
Alarming sign of deteriorating security environment, US diplomats in Kabul Thursday morning local time suddenly warned US citizens to exit several departure gates at the airport “immediately”, citing security threats.
The warning came hours after a US defense official told CNN officials were alarmed by a “very specific threat flow” involving ISIS’s affiliate in Afghanistan, which planned to attack the crowds outside the airfield.
Who are ISIS-K?
ISIS-Khorasan is a branch of the terrorist group that first emerged in Syria and Iraq. While affiliates share an ideology and tactics, the depth of their relationship when it comes to organization and command and control has never been fully established.
U.S. intelligence officials previously told CNN that ISIS-K members include “a small number of veteran Syrian jihadists and other foreign terrorist fighters,” saying the United States has identified 10 to 15 of its main agents in Afghanistan. The name of the group comes from its terminology for the area which includes Afghanistan and Pakistan: “Khorasan”.
The US Department of Defense Inspector General for Afghanistan (SIGAR) said in a report covering the months of April to June this year that “ISIS-Khorasan has exploited political instability and escalating violence. during the quarter by attacking minority sectarian targets and infrastructure to spread fear and underscore the inability of the Afghan government to provide adequate security. “
ISIS-K has trained cells in Kabul that have carried out a number of devastating suicide bombings in and beyond the Afghan capital since 2016.
The group has established itself in recent years in eastern Afghanistan, particularly in the provinces of Nangahar and Kunar. Last August, the group attacked the main prison in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangahar, in an attempt to free dozens of their supporters who had been captured by the Afghan army and police.
Learn more about the group here.