ISIS-Khorasan, which is active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, had tried to carry out a suicide attack in India, Russel Travers, Acting Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Office of Director of National Intelligence told US lawmakers on Tuesday. In fact, Travers said that of all the branches of the Islamic State, the US is most concerned about ISIS-K.
Responding to question from Indian-origin Senator Maggie Hassan, Travers said, “Of all of the branches and networks of ISIS, ISIS-K is certainly one of those of most concern, probably in the neighbourhood of 4,000 individuals or so.”
"They have attempted to certainly inspire attacks outside of Afghanistan. They attempted last year to conduct a suicide attack in India. It failed," he said when prodded about the ISIS-K’s ability to launch attacks in the region.
Hassan had travelled to Afghanistan and Pakistan last month, during which she said she heard firsthand the concerns of the US military about the growing and very real threat of ISIS-K, the ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan. "I heard clearly that ISIS-K threatens not only US forces in Afghanistan, but also has designs on striking the US homeland," she said.
Last week, Travers had said that there were more than 20 ISIS branches globally, some of which are using sophisticated technology such as drones to conduct operations. Despite America’s key victories against the ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the terror outfit remains a deadly threat to the United States, Senator Hassan said.
Recently, the United States had announced that ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself by detonating a suicide vest he was wearing during special raid by the US troops in Idlib. A day after the confirmation of Baghdadi’s death, US President Donald Trump claimed to have eliminated his most-likely successor Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir.
(With PTI Inputs)