Country Report on Terrorism 2016 - Chapter 6 - Islamic State's Khorasan Province

aka ISIL Khorasan; Islamic State's Khorasan Province; ISIS Wilayat Khorasan; ISIL’s South Asia Branch; South Asian chapter of ISIL

Description: Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on January 14, 2016. The group is based in Afghanistan, conducts operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is composed primarily of former members of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban. ISIS-K’s senior leadership has pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Since Baghdadi accepted the pledge in late January 2015, ISIS-K has carried out suicide bombings, small arms attacks, and kidnappings in Afghanistan against civilians and Afghan National Security and Defense Forces. The group has also claimed responsibility for attacks on civilians in Pakistan.

It was reported that ISIS-K leader Hafiz Saeed Khan was killed in July 2016. Khan’s former deputy and the former Taliban Commander from Logar Province, Abdul Hasib, took over leadership responsibilities for ISIS-K.

Activities: ISIS-K was responsible for several attacks on civilians in Karachi, Pakistan in May 2015. In January 2016, the group claimed it carried out a strike on the Pakistani consulate in Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of seven Afghan security personnel. In July, the group conducted a bomb attack at a peaceful protest in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed approximately 80 people and wounded another 230. In August, ISIS-K claimed it carried out a shooting and suicide bombing at a hospital in Quetta targeting lawyers, which killed 94. In October, ISIS-K killed 18 worshippers at a shrine in Kabul, and in November, carried out a suicide bombing at a mosque in Kabul, killing at least 30. It also claimed responsibility in November 2016 for a suicide bombing at the Shah Noorani Shrine in Baluchistan province, Pakistan, killing more than 50 people.

Strength: Approximately 1,500 to 2,000

Location/Area of Operation: Afghanistan and Pakistan

Funding and External Aid: ISIS-K receives some funding from ISIS. Other funding sources are unknown.