Thousands of US citizens as well as other Westerners and Afghan US allies who have been stranded trying to reach the airport in Kabul as Democrat President Joe Biden so wisely surrendered Afghanistan to the Taliban are under imminent threat from a group known as ISIS-K, experts warn.
‘Great’ terrorist attack opportunity with Kabul airport pandemonium
By deciding to pull out American forces before any proper evacuation, and with the Afghan government collapsing in a day, and the radical Islamist Taliban conquering Kabul, Sleepy Joe has created the by now painfully known “pandemonium” at the international airport in the Afghan capital, with tens of thousands rushing to flee.
The radical Islamists that are the Taliban movement are well known for being allies to terrorist network al-Qaeda and hosted it in Afghanistan during their previous rule in 1996-2001 – leading to the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US by the latter and the US-led destruction of their regime 20 years ago.
However, in 2014, with the rise of another Islamist terrorist group, ISIS (“Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”), part of the Taliban pledged allegiance to it, and henceforth became known as ISIS-Khorasan or just ISIS-K – Khorasan being a historical name of the geographic region covering a part of ancient Persia, namely, roughly the area of today’s Afghanistan and Northeast Iran.
While the seemingly happy gifting of Afghanistan back to the Taliban by Joe Biden on the eve of the 20th anniversary since 9/11 has caused well-founded fears – among those Americans who care unlike, evidently, the Biden administration – that the medieval-minded ragtag radicals may once again decide to offer their hospitality to al-Qaeda, there are also worries among counterterrorism experts about a resurgence of ISIS-K.
Despite being hostile to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, ISIS-K could exploit the power vacuum left at least temporarily after the collapse of the Afghan government.
The some 6,000 US troops sent back to Afghanistan by Biden to guard the Kabul airport and carry out the evacuations of Americans and US allies – a humiliating scenario caused by Biden’s eagerness to pull out at all cost the last remaining 2,500 US troops – are doing just that – providing security of the airport.
The tens of thousands flocking to it are outside of the US perimeter, and security there is in the hands of the Taliban – whose fighters have set up numerous checkpoints and are also making arbitrary decisions on who to let through, beating and shooting people as they wish.
ISIS-K could utilize the situation by carrying out an attack such as a suicide bombing against the large crowds – as it has done numerous times in Afghanistan so far, and as they did today.
Gravest threat from ISIS-K, al-Qaeda, and Taliban coming together
ISIS-K was recognized as a terrorist organization by 2015, American Enterprise Institute Katherine Zimmerman expert told Fox News.
She explained that ISIS-K’s version of Islam is ever more radical and more hardline than the Taliban’s, including because they view as an enemy anybody who doesn’t accept their vision – including the Taliban, the Shia Muslims, and, of course, naturally, the West.
Thus, not just the US citizens and other Westerners but also the thousands of Afghans who collaborated with America and its allies are viewed as a highly desired target by Isis – K, Zimmerman cautioned.
Michael Pregent from the Hudson Institute, a former intelligence officer and analyst for the US Central Command, told Fox News that the greatest concern should be that Afghanistan might become a training ground for jihadist terrorists learning American tactics thanks to the long US military presence there.
In that scenario, even though the Taliban is loyal to al-Qaeda, that doesn’t mean that ISIS-K might not come together with them in order to “make America bleed.”