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Islamic State expands reach in Afghanistan, threatening West



In this Thursday, May 30, 2019 photo, Ajmal Omar a member of the Nangarhar provincial council speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks in the United States and other Western countries. Omar said IS now has a presence in the provinces of Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar and Laghman. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)



The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks on the United States and other Western countries, according to U.S. and Afghan security officials.


Nearly two decades after the U.S.-led invasion, the extremist group is seen as an even greater threat than the Taliban because of its increasingly sophisticated military capabilities and its strategy of targeting civilians, both in Afghanistan and abroad. Concerns run so deep that many have come to see the Taliban, which have also clashed with IS, as a potential partner in containing it.



A U.S. intelligence official based in Afghanistan told The Associated Press that a recent wave of attacks in the capital, Kabul, is “practice runs” for even bigger attacks in Europe and the United States.



AP News

10th June 2019

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