ISIL appeared in Afghanistan shortly after the group’s core fighters swept across Syria and Iraq in 2014 [Reuters]

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group is expanding its footprint in Afghanistan “with thousands and thousands” of fighters after losing its so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

The armed group is recruiting new soldiers and plotting attacks on the United States and other Western countries, US and Afghan security officials say.

ISIL 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 some officials have come to see the Taliban, which has also clashed with ISIL, as a potential partner

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