Defense Department official warns that ISIS-K could launch attacks within 6-12 months

Undersecretary of Defense Dr. Colin H. Kahl made the comments in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Updated: October 26, 2021 - 8:29pm

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The Islamic State branch based in Afghanistan, ISIS-K, may be able to launch an international attack within six months to a year, according to a Pentagon official. 

Undersecretary of Defense Dr. Colin H. Kahl made that assessment on Tuesday in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The extremist organization doesn't pose an imminent threat, but are being taken seriously by intelligence agencies, Kahl told lawmakers.  

"I think the intelligence community currently assesses that both ISIS-K and al Qaeda have the intent to conduct external operations, including against the United States. But neither currently has the capability to do so," Kahl said, according to the Washington Examiner.

Kahl also discussed the likelihood of al Qaeda making a resurgence and launching a similar attack.

"And for al Qaeda, it would take a year or two to reconstitute that capability," he said. "We have to remain vigilant against that possibility."

Kahl is the latest Defense official to issue a warning concerning ISIS-K and al Qaeda.

"It’s a real possibility that in the not too distant future, 6, 23, 28, 24, 36 months, that kind of time frame, for reconstitution of al Qaeda or ISIS," said Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley during a September hearing.

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