The rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan has shocked the world to its core, revealing the failure of the US mission in the country to ensure the terrorist group never rises again.
Now, as allied forces are forced to withdraw from a nation they entered 20 years ago, the Taliban are imposing their own regime on the people of Afghanistan, a regime that terrified and tormented millions at the beginning of the century.
The Taliban claim themselves to be “more liberal” than their first rule of the country, hardly anyone in the international community believes them, but there is another terrorist group that sees them as a legitimate threat to their twisted way of life…ISIS-K.
Who are ISIS-K?
ISIS-K was founded back in 2015 as an extension to the original ISIS organisation, with the aim of establishing an Islamic Caliphate across the Khorasan region, which contains the nations of Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as some other Central Asia nations.
The terrorist group was responsible for a brazen, broad daylight attack on Kabul’s main hospital back in March 2017, where five attackers killed over 30 doctors and patients, whilst injuring a further 50.
ISIS-K first made international headlines back in 2016, when the Pentagon officially announced that they were labeling the organisation as a “Foreign Terrorist Organisation.”
This declaration made it illegal for American citizens to defect and assist their operations, and it gave permission for US soldiers in the region to actively pursue and engage fire against its members.
The first leader of the ISIS branch organisation was Hafiz Saeed Khan, who was a former Pakistani and Taliban commander.
His on-the-ground soldiers were mostly made up of defectors from the Taliban, conducting small-arms raids and several suicide bombings in the region, which was enough to gain the attention of the US, who saw Khan killed in a drone strike in July of 2016.
Abdul Hasib, Khan’s successor, orchestrated the attack on Kabul’s hospital in 2017, as well as ordering his soldiers to behead village elders right next to their families, before kidnapping women and girls and forcing them into sex slavery.
Abdul was killed in a US-led raid of his compound in that same year, April 2017, a raid that saw two US troops killed.
A few weeks after the raid, former President Donald Trump ordered that the “Mother Of All Bombs” was to be dropped on a key ISIS-K cave and underground system, a move that killed over 100 of their fighters.
The group was almost wiped out entirely by the end of 2018 after a series of consecutive drone strikes killed Hasib’s successors and around 80% of all of the group’s fighters.
However, like all terrorist organizations, defeating them doesn’t always work.
The new threat
With the Taliban now in full control of Afghanistan, and ready to form a government, allied forces have been evacuating from the nation entirely.
However, ISIS-K view the Taliban as a threat to their mission, accusing them of becoming “too liberal” for the Islamist cause.
Due to that fact, the United States now view ISIS-K as a legitimate threat to their evacuation proceedings, fearing that the terrorist group could launch an attack on Kabul airport “imminently.”
President Joe Biden announced that the US cannot delay the evacuation effort as their intel suggests that ISIS-K is targeting the airport for an attack “every day.”, and we all saw what happened today.
The President’s statement comes after numerous reports which suggested that the White House believed that ISIS-K were seeking to destabilize the Taliban’s efforts to form a government, claiming that allied troops who are currently on the ground in Kabul could be seen as “very high-profile targets.”
The US and allies remain committed to withdrawing fully from Afghanistan by August 31st, with the Taliban threatening severe action if any troops remain in the nation after that date.