The US government is “determinedly focused” on the possibility of a terrorist attack in Afghanistan by a group such as the Islamic State of Greater Khorasan (ISIS-K), an avowed enemy of the Taliban. , White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan announced during the NBC Nightly News show on Thursday.

When asked if Washington fears that US citizens stranded in Afghanistan could become “hostages,” Sullivan replied that the evacuation process is “a risky operation” but is “working” for now, before raising the possibility of their emergence. other eventualities.

“We have to worry about all kinds of contingencies. One of the contingencies that we are very focused on is the possibility of a terrorist attack from a group like ISIS-K, which, of course, is a sworn enemy of the Taliban, ” said the senior official without offering further details or evidence to support his concerns.

ISIS-K , the name by which the Islamic State faction in the Khorasan region is known, emerged around 2015 made up largely of Pakistan-based Tehrik-i-Taliban fighters. The group has repeatedly clashed with the Afghan Taliban, and unlike other IS cells attempting to launch attacks abroad, ISIS-K has largely remained a local concern within Afghanistan and Pakistan.

They will continue with the evacuations

In this context, Sullivan assured that they will continue working to minimize risks and maximize the number of people who can be evacuated on planes, although he admitted that it is not clear how many Americans still remain in the country.

“We have made contact with the Taliban to allow safe passage of people to the airport and that is working right now to transport Americans and Afghans at risk,” he added.

Last Sunday, the Taliban  seized  Kabul and ended their offensive across Afghanistan, as President Ashraf Ghani resigned and left the country.

The arrival of insurgents in the Afghan capital caused crowds of people to rush out of the territory , resulting in massive traffic jams on the roads and stampedes at the city’s airport. The tragic scenes that showed individuals trying to hold onto the planes taking off from the runway drew the world’s attention.

The military success of the Taliban was the consequence of the definitive withdrawal of the US contingent from the country, which began last April.