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The Islamic State versus the Islamic Emirate


Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August, there has been an increase in attacks by
ISIS – K militants targeting Taliban members. ISIS – K is based largely in eastern Nangarhar province but the group has ramped up attacks across Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover. The rise in violence has raised the specter of a wider conflict between the two extremist groups.

ISIS – K will likely attempt to take advantage of the political instability and lack of counterterrorism
efforts following the U.S. withdrawal to challenge Taliban control. The potency of the ISIS threat is
undeniable and its immediate aim is to destabilize the Taliban and shatter the group’s image as a guardian of security. ISIS -K’s terror campaign in Afghanistan could be a clear indication that they are sending a message to the international community that they are far from being defeated, and that they are willing to further expand their footprint across Afghanistan.