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The Complicated Relationship Between the Taliban and ISIS, Explained

The Complicated Relationship Between the Taliban and ISIS, Explained

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This Thursday, August 26, a series of attacks shook several points near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul (Afghanistan), the central place of the American evacuation of the country after the capture of the city by the Taliban.

At least 13 American soldiers and more than 150 Afghans were killed in the attacks. According to Politico, the attack was attributed to the terrorist group ISIS.

The relationship between the Taliban and ISIS is complicated, as the two factions have fought on several occasions in recent years and it is not yet known if last Thursday’s terrorist attack was coordinated between the two factions.

A report by The Wall Street Journal recounts how the Taliban, which has co-opted several jihadists from terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, has been in perennial conflict with the Islamic State (ISIS-K) in Afghanistan.

Although both groups are Sunni extremists, the Islamic State aims to create a caliphate around the Islamic world, while the Taliban claim to be purely focused on consolidating their control over Afghanistan.

La complicada relación entre el Talibán e ISIS
Afghans outside Hamid Karzai International Airport before the attack. (EFE)

However, there have been extensive reports that the Taliban released dozens of ISIS terrorists just days before the fall of Kabul, a report that has recently been confirmed by the Pentagon.

While it has not been confirmed whether the ISIS-K jihadists released by the Taliban played a decisive role in Thursday’s terrorist attack, it is easy to see how this situation could have boosted ISIS’s offensive capabilities in Afghanistan.

Speaking to Fox News Nathan Sales, former ambassador-at-large against terrorism under the Donald Trump administration, stated precisely that the recent release of ISIS K operatives may explain how the Islamic State was able to execute attacks of such magnitude in such a short time.

Regardless of the possible collaboration between the Taliban and ISIS, the reality is that the Biden Administration coordinated an evacuation where security depended on the performance of a terrorist group.

The way in which the Biden administration decided to act to withdraw American troops in Afghanistan is already widely questioned from all sectors. Even important voices are expressing the relevance of an impeachment or have asked for his resignation.

Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.

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