A lethal assault towards American and Afghan civilians could be a catastrophe not just for the US, but additionally for the Taliban, who’re transferring to consolidate management over Kabul. The Taliban and the Islamic State have been enemies, preventing one another on the battlefield for management of elements of the nation.
Perceive the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
Who’re the Taliban? The Taliban arose in 1994 amid the turmoil that got here after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, together with floggings, amputations and mass executions, to implement their guidelines. Right here’s extra on their origin story and their record as rulers.
Western counterterrorism analysts say a high-profile assault by ISIS throughout the evacuation would most definitely carry the group’s flagging fortunes, recruiting and status.
A United Nations report in June assessed that the Islamic State’s “territorial losses have affected the group’s capacity to recruit and generate new funding.”
Though the ISIS affiliate was nonetheless believed to have 1,500 to 2,200 fighters in small areas of Kunar and Nangarhar provinces, the report stated, “it has been pressured to decentralize and consists primarily of cells and small teams throughout the nation, performing in an autonomous method whereas sharing the identical ideology.”
Whereas the group suffered army setbacks beginning in summer season 2018, the report concluded that since June 2020, underneath its bold new chief, Shahab al-Muhajir, the affiliate “stays energetic and harmful,” and is looking for to swell its ranks with disaffected Taliban fighters and different militants.
“On condition that ISIS-Okay and the Taliban are enemies, it is going to be a problem for ISIS-Okay,” Mr. Clarke stated. “Nonetheless, the Taliban now has its palms full with governing, which is able to devour appreciable bandwidth inside the group.”
Nathan Gross sales, the State Division’s counterterrorism coordinator within the Trump administration, stated on Sunday that if the ISIS affiliate was able to attacking the airport in Kabul, “that implies Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrawal shall be a permissive atmosphere for all types of terrorist teams, even these hostile to the Taliban.”