Preventing Afghanistan from once again becoming a haven for terrorists who threaten the United States and its allies has been the lasting positive achievement of the past twenty years of war.
But in the chaotic last days of weLed by the intervention, it even began to collapse.
The United Kingdom and the United States on Wednesday warned people to stay away from Acceptance An airport – the center of a massive evacuation effort – due to a “persistent and high terrorist attack risk”.
The most important group is one of the subsidiaries of Islamic country.
Ministers had warned in recent days of The threat posed by the Islamic State in Khorasan – or ISIS-K To British, US and other forces involved in evacuating tens of thousands of Afghans and others who were desperate to flee the country after the Taliban seized power last week.
With those rescue efforts winding down before the US deadline to withdraw all troops from the country by next Tuesday, the chance of targeting the operation is dwindling and the threat of an attack appears to be growing.
“ISIS has not launched a truly major offensive for some time,” said Karin von Hippel, Generation Director at Royal United Services Research.
“The world is watching this situation at the moment so they might think this is an opportunity for us to show some kind of cool event.”
ISIS emerged in Khorasan around 2015 as part of the group’s expansion of reach from Iraq and Syria.
Its fighters are believed to number as high as 2,200 – although that number could rise given the security vacuum left by the departing foreign forces.
They are mainly stationed in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces and are responsible for some of the worst massacres in Afghanistan. A single attack on a maternity hospital in Kabul last year killed 24 people, including mothers and newborns.
The group is led by a militant named Shihab al-Muhajir. Former commanders have been killed or captured by US and Afghan forces.
The Islamic State is also not a friend of Taliban, after opposing the way Taliban leaders negotiated their return to power with the United States.
Attacking the Kabul airport would have the double effect of harming Western forces while at the same time undermining the authority of the new Taliban rulers in Afghanistan.
The type of attack for which ISIS-K is notorious is a suicide bombing using a vehicle or an individual armed with an explosive belt, often followed by gunmen shooting.
British and other forces will do everything in their power to protect themselves and the people waiting for flights. But they must also rely on the Taliban to help with security.
The prospect of Western forces dying in a terrorist attack on their way out of Afghanistan at the end of the mission launched in the wake of the 9/11 atrocities against the United States in 2001 should not rest with British and American leaders.
Al Qaeda carried out that attack. It also maintains a presence on the ground and, unlike the Islamic State, maintains close ties to the Taliban.