Earlier this month, the Islamic State claimed it was responsible for an attack on a Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad, Nangarhar province. In a statement translated by the US monitor Site Intelligence, the “Khorasan Province of the Islamic State” said three of its members had attacked the consulate in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan. Afghan officials said seven members of the security forces were killed in the attack. In the State Department’s online announcement of the new designation of the group as a “foreign terrorist organization,” it described ISIL-K as being based in the “Afghanistan/Pakistan region and is composed primarily of former members of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban.”
Nangarhar is home to a number of insurgent groups and criminal gangs who benefit from the province’s proximity to the Pakistan border. Insurgent attacks are not uncommon in Jalalabad. ISIS has established a presence in Nangarhar, having fought the Taliban in recent months for control of at least four border districts. The attack came two days after Islamabad hosted a meeting of representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistan, China and the US to discuss ending the Taliban insurgency.