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Assessing the ISIS-K Threat: Could It Happen Here?

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SUBSCRIBER+ EXCLUSIVE ANALYSIS – For months, U.S. officials have sounded vague but ominous alarms about the threat of terrorism in the U.S. – most noteworthy, perhaps, FBI Director Christopher Wray’s warning of “blinking lights everywhere” suggesting potential threats to the nation. When Wray used the phrase, in Senate testimony last December, he no doubt had ISIS-K on his list of worries; now, in the wake of a major terror attack in Moscow, the group’s place on that list has probably jumped a few notches.

The Islamic State Khorasan – known also as ISIS-K, or IS-K, is relatively young, founded in 2015 by members of the Pakistani Taliban, and perhaps best known for a suicide bombing at the Kabul Airport in August 2021, in the chaotic last days of the U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. That blast killed 170 civilians and 13 American service members.

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