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    Insecurity in Taliban-Afghanistan: A 6-Month Outlook

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    Insecurity in Taliban-Afghanistan continues to be an ever-evolving issue despite the group’s voiced intention to end political violence. Moreover, despite a significant reduction in terrorism, Taliban-controlled Afghanistan still suffers from a critical lack of security. This void is clear throughout the nation as it faces a stream of bombings. The Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP) – a part of ISIL – remains highly active, targeting Taliban authorities and ethnic minorities.  

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    Key Judgment 1: It is highly likely that the ISKP will be the primary source of terrorist attacks over the next six months.

    • It is highly likely that the ISKP lies behind the latest violent attacks in Afghanistan, such as the suicide bombing inside the Mosque of Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry [source]. 
    • Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, ISKP has carried out around 27 terrorist attacks [source][source].

    These attacks include suicide bombings in crowded mosques [source][source].

    • ISKP has taken responsibility for most of the 17 large attacks carried out on mosques, schools, passenger buses, sports stadiums and airports within the last year [source].
    • ISKP’s primary targets are Afghan politicians and ministries, U.S. and NATO forces, Afghan security forces, Sufi Muslims, and religious minorities [source][source]. 
    • Although widespread fighting has ended, ISKP has been waging a campaign of violence mainly focused on urban centres [source].
    • On the last week of September 2022, there was another suicide bombing at a Kabul education centre killing around 53 people [source][source].
    • ISKP is the primary suspect [source]. 
    • ISKP has claimed responsibility for 13 attacks against Hazaras and the group is at least related to 3 more [source].
    • ISKP is currently the biggest security threat for the Taliban [source][source].
    • ISKP is keen on carrying out complex assaults using vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) with a focus on airports [source].
    Taliban Afghanistan
    ISKP members [source].

    Key Judgment 2: It is almost certain that Afghanistan’s ethnic minorities will continue to be the primary victims of ISKP in the next 6 months

    • The ISKP, which considers Shia Muslims to practice heretical doctrine, has been carrying out several attacks in Kabul, targeting girls’ schools and mosques [source].
    • A campaign of violence targeting the Taliban and the Shia minority intensified since the Taliban took power [source].
    • The Taliban have done little and have failed to protect minorities from these attacks [source].

    Key Judgment 3: It is highly likely that political and border clashes between Afghanistan and Pakistan will continue in the next 6 months

    • Taliban and Haqqani did not destroy the Pakistan Taliban, which lied in the very interest of Islamabad [source].
    • Afghanistan’s new Taliban-led government decided finally to not recognize the 1897 Durand Line as an international border [source].
    • Moreover, the Taliban renewed its claims to Pashtun areas of Pakistan and opposed the border line established by Pakistan [source].
    • The Pakistan army’s attempt to build a security post at the border faced a strong opposition by Taliban authorities, leading to deadly cross-border skirmish in September [source].
    • Pakistan’s major geopolitical enemy, India, engaged with Kabul since the beginning and has cooperated with the latter by providing vital food aid [source]. 
    Taliban Afghanistan
    The 1897 Durand Line separating Afghanistan and Pakistan that the Taliban-led government has refused (in red) [source].

    Intelligence Cut-Off Date: 17th of November 2022

    Ignacio Urrutia
    Ignacio Urrutia
    Ignacio is a Spanish intelligence analyst passionate and with deep knowledge of Central and Eastern Europe and MENA. As part of his Master in Security, Intelligence and Strategic Studies, he is specializing in intelligence, defence and new warfare.

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