Overview:  The United States has not yet decided whether to recognize the Taliban or any other entity as the government of Afghanistan.  The Taliban hosted and sheltered al-Qa’ida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul before his death from a U.S. airstrike on July 30.  The Taliban facilitated talks between Pakistan and the TTP in Kabul that led to a ceasefire in May; however, TTP formally ended the ceasefire in November.

Throughout the reporting period, the Taliban fought against the Islamic State’s Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), which they viewed as their primary threat.  The United States pressed the Taliban to uphold their counterterrorism commitments under the 2020 Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan (the Doha Agreement) between the United States and the Taliban, which signed it as the so-called Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.  The Taliban repeatedly promised to meet their Doha Agreement commitments to prevent any group or individual from using Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States and its allies.  However, terrorist groups remained present in Afghanistan.

In 2022, terrorist groups launched attacks from Afghanistan against Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan.  Specifically, ISIS-K launched rocket attacks from Afghan soil against Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  ISIS-K also conducted attacks against Afghan civilians, often attacking members of vulnerable religious and ethnic minority populations.  ISIS-K claimed responsibility for an attack on the Russian embassy in September and attacks in December on the Pakistani embassy and on a hotel frequented by PRC nationals.  Ayman al-Zawahiri and his family moved to Kabul in early 2022; he died in a U.S. airstrike in July.

2022 Terrorist Incidents:  Terrorist attacks on mosques, schools, public transportation, and places of public gathering were common in Afghanistan.  Significant terrorist incidents follow below:

  • On April 22 an unclaimed suicide bombing at a mosque and madrassa in Kunduz during a Sufi religious gathering killed at least 33 people and wounded 43 others.
  • On April 29 an unclaimed explosion at a mosque in Kabul during a Sufi religious gathering killed at least 10 people and wounded 30 others.
  • On August 17 an unclaimed bombing at a mosque in Kabul killed at least 21 people, including a prominent cleric, and wounded at least 33 others.
  • On September 5, a suicide bombing claimed by ISIS-K at the Russian embassy in Kabul killed at least six persons, including a Russian diplomat, and wounded at least 10 others.  On September 30 an unclaimed suicide bombing at an educational center in Kabul killed 54 people and wounded 114 others, mostly Hazara Shia women and girls.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security:  According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), the Taliban conducted 40 operations against ISIS-K during the reporting period.  The Taliban on several occasions publicly announced they had detained or killed ISIS-K members, including those responsible for attacks.  In July, Human Rights Watch reported cases in which the Taliban reportedly summarily executed and forcibly disappeared alleged ISIS-K members.  It was unclear whether the Taliban had the capability to fully dismantle clandestine terrorist networks in urban areas.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism:  There have been no changes since 2021.  For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2022 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism:  There have been no changes since 2021.

International and Regional Cooperation:  There have been no changes since 2021.

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