President Biden said Thursday he ordered plans to attack ISIS-K targets following the attack near Kabul airport.
“For those who carried out this attack, as well as those who want to harm America, you know this: we will not be forgiven. We will not be forgotten. We’ll hunt you down and make you pay, ”said Biden.
ISIS in Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, alleged that an ISIS fighter carried out the suicide attack, but did not provide any evidence to support the claim.
US officials warned last week that the risk of a terrorist attack at the airport was increasing. On Thursday, US diplomats in Kabul warned American citizens not to leave several gates to the airport “immediately”, citing security threats on Thursday local time.
But who are ISIS-K? ISIS-Khorasan is an offshoot of the terrorist group that first appeared in Syria and Iraq. While the affiliates share an ideology and tactic, the depth of their relationship in terms of organization and leadership and control has never been fully established.
US intelligence agencies previously told CNN that ISIS-K members include “a small number of seasoned jihadists from Syria and other foreign terrorists” and said the US had identified 10-15 of its top agents in Afghanistan. The group’s name comes from its terminology for the area that includes Afghanistan and Pakistan: “Khorasan”.
The Inspector General of the US Department of Defense for Afghanistan (SIGAR) said in an April-June report that “ISIS-Khorasan took advantage of political instability and the rise in violence during the quarter by targeting sectarian minority targets and infrastructure has to spread “. fear and stress the inability of the Afghan government to provide adequate security. “
ISIS-K has formed cells in Kabul that have carried out a series of devastating suicide attacks in and outside the Afghan capital since 2016.
The group has built a presence in eastern Afghanistan in recent years, particularly in the Nangahar and Kunar provinces. Last August, the group attacked the main prison in Jalalabad, capital of Nangahar, to rescue dozens of their supporters who had been captured by the Afghan army and police.
Read more about the group here.
CNN’s Nikki Carvajal, Jim Sciutto and Tim Lister contributed to this post.
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