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Islamic State threat is a priority for Afghan Taliban

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Significance

The promise is in line with the Taliban's commitment to act against foreign terrorists in Afghanistan, or at least stop them harming the outside world. The current Taliban approach seems to be to isolate groups seen as problematic by other countries. Islamic State (IS) is the exception: it is ready to challenge Taliban rule through violence.

Impacts

  • The appointment of hard-line militant Sirujaddin Haqqani as interior minister should alarm Western governments.
  • Iran and Pakistan are less concerned than others about al-Qaida and may tolerate a continued Afghan presence.
  • A flow of jihadists into Afghanistan might be a blessing for Western states if that reduces numbers in more proximate regions.
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