Who Are IS-K? What You Need to Know About the Group That’s Sometimes Called 'ISIS-K'

Afghan women protesting in Kabul on September 8, 2021. Photo Courtesy: [Marcus Yam/Getty Images]

On August 26, 2021, President Biden addressed the nation. “We will not be deterred by terrorists. We will not let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuation… America will not be intimidated,” he told reporters and the millions of people watching. This was Biden’s response to IS-K, a name you may have been seeing a lot of in the news.  

IS-K, often referred to as ISIS-K, is a major militant force in Afghanistan. The U.S. had strategically planned their exit from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of combat. IS-K is not affiliated with the Taliban, but there is some crossover between the two groups.

Now, with the Taliban still at large and the emergence of IS-K, people are having a hard time wrapping their minds around the conflict. While we don’t know what will happen going forward, we can look at IS-K and see what we can learn from their story.