'Specific threat' from ISIS-K outside Kabul airport leaves US worried: Report

Published on Aug 25, 2021 10:02 PM IST

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday acknowledged the growing threat posed by the Afghanistan affiliate of the Islamic State group.

ISIS-K is reportedly planning to carry out multiple attacks as desperate Afghans are thronging the Kabul airport to flee the Taliban-controlled nation.(via Reuters)
ISIS-K is reportedly planning to carry out multiple attacks as desperate Afghans are thronging the Kabul airport to flee the Taliban-controlled nation.(via Reuters)
By, New Delhi

While the Taliban might have promised security to Afghans and foreign embassies, US officials are concerned about "a very specific threat stream" from ISIS-K against crowds outside the Kabul airport, according to a CNN report. US President Joe Biden on Tuesday acknowledged the growing threat posed by the Afghanistan affiliate of the Islamic State group.

“Every day we’re on the ground is another day that we know ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both us and allied forces and innocent civilians,” Biden said at the White House.

ISIS-K is reportedly planning to carry out multiple attacks as desperate Afghans are thronging the Hamid Karzai International Airport to flee the Taliban-controlled nation. Concerns about their security have increased after dozens of prisoners loyal to ISIS-K escaped two prisons near Kabul as the Taliban advanced to capture Afghanistan's national capital, reported CNN.

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According to a recent report by the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, ISIS-K fighters have formed sleeper cells in many Afghan provinces, Nuristan, Badghis, Sari

Pul, Baghlan, Badakhshan, Kunduz and Kabul. The report suggests that ISIS-K, a sworn enemy to the Taliban, has strengthened its positions in and around Kabul. The group has mostly been targeting minorities, activists, government employees and personnel of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.

The leaders of ISIS-K also hope to attract intransigent Taliban and other militants who reject the deal between insurgents and the United States signed in Doha last year. The report estimates the strength of ISIS-K fighters anywhere could rise up to 10,000 “over the medium term.”

“One UN Member State stressed that ISIL-K was largely underground and clandestine. Its leader, Shahab al-Muhajir, alias Sanaullah (not listed), cooperates with Sheikh Tamim (not listed), head of the al-Sadiq office. Tamim and his office are tasked by ISIL core to oversee the network connecting ISIL-K with ISIL presences in the wider region,” the report states.

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