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Afghanistan, under Taliban rule, may be a magnet for foreign jihadi structures

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The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) carried out suicide bombings in Kabul on August 26. These bombings were a reminder that no matter who is in charge in Afghanistan, ISIS-K would be its worst enemy. The attacks also increased the Taliban’s international credit score; Before the attacks, the Taliban shared intelligence with the U.S. that there would be suicide bombings. This tip came from an ISIS-K militant captured at the Kabul airport. This sharing of vital information indicates that would be a good candidate for a coalition against ISIS-K. Moreover, the Biden administration could partner with the Taliban to seek revenge for the 13 Americans killed in the attack.

ISIS has also had a separating effect on the policies of groups and foreign forces fighting in Syria. Blind violence, brutal hostility towards Shiite-Alawites, the uniqueness of the caliphate it declared, and the rebuking of those who refused allegiance to the caliphate are characteristics which make up ISIS. Other jihadist groups along the al-Qaeda line felt the need to cement themselves elsewhere. For example, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) tried to present the image that they have changed even though they are the continuation of ISIS Syrian branch, al-Nusra. HTS also tried to pretend that it was out of the global jihadi network and their fight was limited to Syrian territory. In this process, ISIS helped other jihadi organizations to be tolerated and even accepted.

Whenever a military operation is launched against these organizations in Idlib, the U.S. and its partners issue a warning to the world that there will be a “civilian massacre.” The mentality seems to be that ISIS is bad; however, ISIS derivatives or its closest versions are good.

The U.S. is now using the same selectivity in Afghanistan. Those who think the U.S. is a sworn enemy of all radical jihadi structures without any discrimination can stop reading the article here. After the Americans ran the mujahideen recruitment program from the Arab world with people such as Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, Osama bin Laden, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, they learned who to support or use against whom. For instance, after the Soviet-backed regime was overthrown in 1989, the CIA tried to bring Hekmatyar, considered the most radical of this generation, to power in Afghanistan. This was done instead of choosing Ahmet Shah Massoud, the most moderate of the mujahideen leaders, many of whom were linked to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It is no coincidence that Hekmatyar is on the committee that is meeting with the Taliban for a reconciliation government today. The Taliban, which in the 1990s was backed by Pakistani intelligence to end the power struggle between mujahideen groups, was also a reasonable solution for the........

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