Making Sense of the Islamic State’s War on the Afghan Taliban

On September 18, 2021, the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan, which calls itself wilayat khurasan (literally, “Khurasan Province,” hence the label “ISKP”), simultaneously bombed seven Taliban positions in the city of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, in eastern Afghanistan. These attacks kick-started its months-long campaign to destabilize the Taliban’s new government, which had been established in early September following the fall of Kabul on August 15. Between September and January, ISKP had deployed some 136 operations as part of this campaign, with 96 of them targeting Taliban officials or security forces. Given that, across the same period the previous year, it launched just 46 attacks, with only two targeting the Taliban, this made for a stark escalation in its operations in Afghanistan.

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I am a research analyst focusing on jihadism, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

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Abdul Sayed

I am a research analyst focusing on jihadism, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.