Amira Jadoon and Andrew Mines
An attack on a crowd gathered outside Kabul’s airport on Aug. 26, 2021, has left at least 100 people dead, including at least 13 U.S. troops. ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the coordinated suicide bomb and gun assault, which came just days after President Joe Biden warned that the group – an affiliate of the Islamic State group operating in Afghanistan – was “seeking to target the airport and attack U.S. and allied forces and innocent civilians.”
Amira Jadoon, a terrorism expert at the U.S. Military Academy West Point, and Andrew Mines, a research fellow at the George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, have been tracking ISIS-K for years and answered our questions about who the terrorist group is, and the threat it poses in a destabilized Afghanistan.
Who is ISIS-K?
The Islamic State Khorasan Province, which is also known by the acronyms ISIS-K, ISKP and ISK, is the official affiliate of the Islamic State movement operating in Afghanistan, as recognized by Islamic State core leadership in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS-K was officially founded in January 2015. Within a short period of time, it managed to consolidate territorial control in several rural districts in north and northeast Afghanistan, and launched a lethal campaign across Afghanistan and Pakistan. Within its first three years, ISIS-K launched attacks against minority groups, public areas and institutions, and government targets in major cities across Afghanistan and Pakistan. Continue reading