Making Another ISIS in Afghanistan. ISIS-K in Khorasan Province | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Making Another ISIS in Afghanistan. ISIS-K in Khorasan Province

With the United States out of Afghanistan, former members of the Afghan Security Forces who were once trained by the United States are joining Islamic State-Khorasan Province, better known as ISIS-K, the Islamic State’s regional affiliate. The result is all too predictable given America’s track record of inadvertently aiding the creation of extremist groups in the Middle East.

As it stands now, the number of former members of the Afghan Security Forces joining up with ISIS-K remains small, but it is growing, according to both Taliban fighters and other former members of the Afghan Security Forces.

One former Afghan official told the Wall Street Journal that an officer who commanded the Afghan National Army’s weapons and ammunition depot in Gardez joined ISIS-K after the Afghan army became defunct, and was killed last month in a firefight with the Taliban. The official also said he knows several other members of the Afghan Security Forces who joined ISIS-K after the Taliban searched their homes and ordered them to present themselves to Taliban authorities once the Taliban took control of the country.

The Wall Street Journal also spoke to a resident of Qarabagh in the Ghazni province who said his cousin, previously a member of the Afghan army’s special forces, disappeared in September shortly after the U.S. withdrawal and has joined an ISIS-K cell. The Qarabagh man also said he knows four other former Afghan National Army soldiers who enlisted in ISIS-K in the past few weeks.

ISIS-K became known throughout the world when a suicide bomber killed 13 U.S. service members and approximately 200 Afghans in an attack near the Kabul airport as the United States was completing its withdrawal in August.

Created in 2014 by former Taliban militants who were dissatisfied with potential peace talks and sought to take more drastic measures to fight the United States, ISIS-K has thus far played relatively a minor role in the network of extremist organizations operating in Afghanistan. Their relegation was a result of choosing both the Taliban and the United States as their enemies, as the nascent extremist outfit was ill-equipped to defend its territorial holdings in eastern Afghanistan, which the Taliban took from them in 2015.