ISIS vs Taliban: Who should America and UK be worried about more?

Taliban says Joe Biden will 'provoke a reaction' if US troops stay

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The Taliban’s continued presence at the helm of Afghanistan has continued to concern the US and its former allies once stationed in the country. They have attempted to airlift their nationals stationed there with an agreed number of Afghans hoping to relocate beyond the insurgent group’s influence. But other networks have vied to sow their own chaos in the region.

Should The US and UK be more scared of the Taliban or ISIS?

Afghanistan’s new rulers recaptured Kabul from an administration installed by its western occupiers.

The Taliban is openly against the US, with chants of “death to America” heard echoing through the capital last week.

But the group has allowed an “air corridor” to stay in place around Kabul’s airport for evacuations.

The international community – China aside – has not yet struck up a formal rapport with the organisation.

The delay comes, in part, due to incongruent ideals, especially around the place of women and girls and capital punishment.

The Taliban enforces rules via “Sharia law” which its spokesman believes it will implement in Afghanistan.

As such, US policy in the country is currently dependant on the Taliban, a humiliating prospect for Mr Biden.

He believes that is where the threat ends, however, as he has since declared his administration should place forces outside Afghanistan, “where the threat is greatest”.

Those threats aren’t too far away, as ISIS remains scattered across Iraq and Syria.

Although Iran separates the neighbouring nations from Afghanistan, US and UK officials fear the terrorist network’s local followers may attack Kabul.

Defence Minister James Heappey said groups could try and “take advantage” of the evacuation process and “get into the UK to cause harm.”

Mr Biden has concurred, warning “terrorists might seek to exploit the situation.”

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Speaking to The Times, a government source added they could attempt to “get a suicide bomb into the crowd and take out some Brits or Americans.”

They specifically identified ISIS suicide bombers among potential methods.

The source added: “The soldiers are having to keep their fingers on the trigger in one hand while holding a baby in the other.”

A self-proclaimed branch of the ISIS network exists in Afghanistan as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISIS-K).

The potential threat from ISIS-K has forced US forces in Kabul to consider alternative routes to Kabul airport.

Officials fear they could utilise stolen heat-seeking missiles to bring down aircraft carrying civilians to safety.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN the threat from ISIS is “real”, adding: “It is acute. It is persistent.

“And it is something that we are focused on with every tool in our arsenal.”

So far, there is little fear they could ally themselves with the now ruling Taliban, however.

ISIS militants have fought the Taliban for territory over the last six years.

They have attempted to annex some of Afghanistan for their own rule, as the rest of ISIS lies relatively crippled in Syria and Iraq.

However, ISIS has not claimed any affiliation with the Central Asian group.

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