General Michael Kurilla, head of US Central Command, told Congress that ISIS-K will be able to target US citizen’s in Europe and Asia within six months
- ISIS-K could launch attacks on US citizens in Europe and Asia within six months
- The warning was made to Congress by a top general and head of US CENTCOM
- Gen. Michael Kurilla said the ‘ultimate goal’ is to ‘strike the American homeland’
A division of the Islamic State based in Afghanistan will be able to target US citizens in Europe and Asia within six months, a senior US general told a Senate committee.
General Michael Kurilla, head of US Central Command, told Congress that ‘at least hundreds of thousands’ of US citizens could be vulnerable to an attack by ISIS-K, which has the ‘ultimate goal to strike on the American homeland’.
ISIS-K – the Islamic State in Khorasan – is an ISIS affiliate based in Afghanistan and a sworn enemy of both the Taliban and the United States.
The group has claimed responsibility for the Kabul airport attack during the US evacuation in August 2021 which killed 170 Afghan civilians and 13 US soldiers. It continued launching attacks throughout 2022, including on mosques and schools.
Kurilla’s comments were made during an address on Thursday to the Senate Armed Services Committee requesting funds for fiscal year 2024.
ISIS-K is an ISIS affiliate based in Afghanistan. An ISIS-K leader identified as Abu Haidar is pictured with his seven fighters in an undated image. The men were all killed during a clash with the Afghan forces in Nangarhar province, the heartland of ISIS-K
‘It is my commander’s estimate that they can do an external operation against US or Western interests abroad in under six months with little to no warning,’ Kurilla said during the address this week.
‘ISIS-Khorasan grows emboldened, seeking to expand its ranks and inspire enable and direct attacks in the region and beyond – with the ultimate goal to strike on the American homeland,’ he added.
He was then asked about the likelihood of an attack on US soil.
‘It would be harder for them to do that against the American homeland,’ he said.
‘If you asses six months against Europe or Asia what would you asses would be the timeline against the homeland?’ senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas asked him.
‘I think it’s hard to put a timeline on that,’ said Kurilla. ‘I think it is a higher probability overseas than it is in the homeland.’
When asked how many US citizens (including troops, tourists and people working abroad) are in regions vulnerable to attack he agreed there would be ‘at least hundreds of thousands’.
The commander also confirmed to the committee that there was a need for munitions that can hit ‘hard and deeply buried’ ISIS-K targets in Afghanistan.
Similar assessments have been made by other US officials recently.
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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter