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In the aftermath of the double attack perpetrated near Kabul airport, fears of new attacks are omnipresent. Can ISIS strike again? Our journalist Wassim Nasr, specialist in jihadist movements, gives us his analysis.
The Islamic State (IS) organization claimed responsibility for the attack on the area around Kabul airport in Afghanistan on Thursday evening. At least 85 people died in the attack, including at least 13 American servicemen out of the 5,200 who secure the airport.
With the situation already chaotic in the Afghan capital, can we expect further attacks from ISIS? A specialist in jihadist movements at France 24, Wassim Nasr sheds light on the risks of seeing an increase in attacks. “ISIS in Afghanistan has the means to carry out this kind of attack, with suicide bombers, car bombs or rocket fire,” he said in particular, referring to the latest attack claimed, last July, against the presidential palace .
Moreover, explains the journalist, the situation at Kabul airport represents a real opportunity for ISIS to reach both European nationals and Afghans who are candidates for exile.
A blow to the new power
Indeed, he specifies, the crush at Hamid Karzai airport allows a concentration of the privileged targets of the IS, “Western nationals and Afghans considered as spies or sold, and who try to leave the country. in the suitcases of Westerners “, adds Wassim Nasr. “It’s an opportunity to score: 13 fallen soldiers, it’s unprecedented for IS, since its Caliph version in 2014.”
The number of US soldiers who fell at the airport of #Kabul rose to 13, so the same as that of the French soldiers who fell to #Indelimane.
2003 al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia AQM> 2006 Islamic State of#Iraq ISIS> 2013 Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant ISIL> 2014 Islamic State ISIS https://t.co/BST3m6olfy
– Wassim Nasr (@SimNasr) August 27, 2021
What about the Taliban, who condemned these attacks, and their ability to maintain security? There is no doubt, replies the specialist in jihadist movements, it is a blow to the new power.
“We see that leading a military campaign is not synonymous with being able to hold a city while thinking of the security of the city and the squaring of a population of 4 million people,” he said. So far, the Taliban have been able to contain ISIS by benefiting from the Western presence in order to deprive the jihadist group of its territorial sanctuary.
But the Taliban themselves have suffered several attacks perpetrated by the hand of ISIS, recalls Wassim Nasr. Including during their campaign against the Afghan government. “There was an 11-day lull, but that was in preparation for something bigger.”
The Taliban paradox, “hand in hand with the Americans”
On the response to such a threat, the journalist from France 24 emphasizes that Thursday’s double attack reveals, or will reveal, a certain paradox. “The Taliban find themselves in a position of counterterrorism, hand in hand with the Americans: they have also exchanged security information with them to counter ISIS.”
Therefore, a question remains, concludes Wassim Nasr. “We have to see whether the United States will continue to bombard ISIS in Afghanistan with Taliban endorsement or not.”