The Rising Threat of ISKP: Challenges in Afghanistan and Central Asia

Afghanistan’s Islamic State branch engages in global conflict

The Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), an offshoot of the Islamic State group, is a significant threat in the region. The group’s radical views and global ambitions have been highlighted by its attacks in Moscow, Turkey, and Iran. ISKP has long criticized the Taliban regime in Afghanistan for its restrictions on female education and what they see as appeasement to the West. Despite not being officially recognized by any government, ISKP has a long list of enemies, including America and China.

ISKP is currently focused on Russia due to its embassy in Kabul and ties to the Taliban. The group has also been recruiting among Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Kazakhs, distributing content in Central Asian languages. Estimates of ISKP’s strength range from fewer than 2,000 to 5,000 members. Despite setbacks in Afghanistan, ISKP’s ability to connect with disaffected individuals makes them a significant threat.

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan is another major concern for the international community due to its severe restrictions on female education. No government officially recognizes the regime largely because of these restrictions. However, despite this opposition, the Taliban continues to control large parts of Afghanistan and pose a significant threat to regional stability.

Sophia Reynolds

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