Thursday’s deadly twin bomb blasts outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, immediately focused attention on the local affiliate of the ISIS terror group, known as ISIS-K, which reportedly claimed responsibility for the carnage.
Just two days ago, President Biden warned that “every day we’re on the ground is another day we know that ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both US and allied forces and innocent civilians.”
Here are some facts about the Islamic extremists whom Biden also called a “sworn enemy of the Taliban,” who regained control of Afghanistan amid the pullout of US troops nearly two decades after the Sept. 11 terror attacks:
What are ISIS-K’s origins?
ISIS-K is also known as the Islamic State Khorasan, which is named for a historical region in Central Asia that includes part of Afghanistan.
It was established in 2015 after the late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi chose Pakistani national Hafiz Saeed Khan, a veteran commander of the Terik-e Taliban Pakistan, as the group’s first “emir,” or chief, according to a 2018 report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Khan brought along many TTP members, including spokesman Sheikh Maqbool and several district chiefs, when he pledged allegiance to al-Baghdadi in October 2014 and many of them were part of its first leadership council, known as the Khorasan Shura.