AP: Islamic State expands reach in Afghanistan, threatening West

In this Thursday, May 30, 2019 photo, Ajmal Omar a member of the Nangarhar provincial council speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks in the United States and other Western countries. Omar said IS now has a presence in the provinces of Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar and Laghman. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

June 10, 2019
KATHY GANNON

In this Thursday, May 30, 2019 photo, Noor Mohammad, who fled his village in Nangarhar in late April as Islamic State group fighters swept through the area, shows a picture of his son, a soldier in the army who died in Helmand Province fighting the Taliban, during an interview with The Associated Press, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. In recent months the Taliban has said it has no ambitions to monopolize power in a post-war Afghanistan, while IS is committed to overthrowing the Kabul government on its path to establishing a global caliphate. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Thursday, May 30, 2019 photo, members of Farmanullah Shirzad’s family who fled their village in Nangarhar province in late April as Islamic State group fighters swept through the area, are seen at their temporary home in the city of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan. The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks in the United States and other Western countries. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Thursday, May 30, 2019 photo, Shoghla, daughter of Farmanullah Shirzad whose family fled their village in Nangarhar province in late April as Islamic State group fighters swept through the area, poses for a photograph in their temporary home in the city of Jalalabad east of Kabul, Afghanistan. The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks in the United States and other Western countries. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Thursday, May 30, 2019 photo, Farmanullah Shirzad who fled his village in Nangarhar province with his family in late April as Islamic State group fighters swept through the area, gives an interview to The Associate Press in their temporary home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks in the United States and other Western countries. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Thursday, May 30, 2019 photo, Ajmal Omar a member of the Nangarhar provincial council speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in the city of Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks in the United States and other Western countries. Omar said IS now has a presence in the provinces of Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar and Laghman. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

JALALABAD, Afghanistan (AP) — The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks on the United States and other Western countries, according to U.S. and Afghan security officials.

Nearly two decades after the U.S.-led invasion, the extremist group is seen as an even greater threat than the Taliban because of its increasingly sophisticated military capabilities and its strategy of targeting civilians, both in Afghanistan and abroad. Concerns run so deep that many have come to see the Taliban, which have also clashed with IS, as a potential partner in containing it.

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Islamic State expands reach in Afghanistan, threatening West
Article Name
Islamic State expands reach in Afghanistan, threatening West
Description
The Islamic State group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, but in the forbidding mountains of northeastern Afghanistan the group is expanding its footprint, recruiting new fighters and plotting attacks on the United States and other Western countries, according to U.S. and Afghan security officials.