How extensive is Islamic State and Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan — and what is their relationship with the Taliban

  • Jose Carlos Cueto
  • BBC News World

Taliban guard near Kabul airport on Thursday

Credit, Getty Images

The bomb attacks outside Kabul airport on Thursday (26/08) have fueled the fears of many that Afghanistan will once again become a breeding ground for extremism.

Western powers rushed to drive their citizens out of the country in the face of the threat of an imminent attack, which was eventually carried out and killed at least 90 people.

An arm of the extremist group calling itself Islamic State, called Islamic State Khorasan, claimed responsibility for the attack — and the United States responded with drone strikes that would have killed at least three Islamic State members, including the person responsible for planning the attack.

Since the Taliban came to power, the international community has scrutinized both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, two groups weakened but looking to strengthen themselves after the collapse of the Afghan government and the withdrawal of Western troops from the country.