Islamic State Khorasan's Network and Organizational Capacity in Afghanistan and Pakistan [open pdf - 27MB]
"When the Islamic State officially declared the formation of its province in Afghanistan and Pakistan (AfPak)--Wilayat Khorasan, or Islamic State Khorasan (ISK)--in January 2015, many global and regional policymakers dismissed the threat of an Islamic State affiliate in the AfPak theater. In the years following its formation, ISK unleashed some of the most devastating attacks in the AfPak region, persisting in the face of U.S. airstrikes, Pakistani military operations, and clashes with the Afghan Taliban. Although the potential threat of ISK is acknowledged today, questions about the nature of the nascent group and its efficacy, resilience, and trajectory remain unanswered. What are the broader contours of ISK's lethality, targets, and tactics in Afghanistan and Pakistan? How do ISK's operational trends compare and contrast across the two countries? How have ISK's alliances contributed to its overall capacity and resilience? More broadly, what explains ISK's demonstrated ability to survive and thrive in the AfPak region, and what do its operational trends and alliances collectively tell us about its future trajectory?"
Combating Terrorism Center: https://ctc.usma.edu/