ISIS Poses ‘Acute’ Threat to U.S. Evacuation Efforts in Kabul, Sullivan Says

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A lethal assault towards American and Afghan civilians could be a catastrophe not just for the USA, but in addition for the Taliban, who’re transferring to consolidate management over Kabul. The Taliban and the Islamic State have been enemies, combating one another on the battlefield for management of components of the nation.

Western counterterrorism analysts say a high-profile assault by ISIS through the evacuation would almost definitely raise 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, appearing in an autonomous method whereas sharing the identical ideology.”

Whereas the group suffered navy setbacks beginning in summer season 2018, the report concluded that since June 2020, below its formidable new chief, Shahab al-Muhajir, the affiliate “stays energetic and harmful,” and is searching for to swell its ranks with disaffected Taliban fighters and different militants.

“Provided 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 throughout 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.”

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