Inside brutal woman-hating Islamic sect that believes the Taliban are too soft

The young man proudly stands in front of a black flag, wearing a suicide bomb and brandishing an AK 47.

Soon after the propaganda video appeared online, Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri travelled to Kabul Airport and detonated the device.

Another terrorist did the same at the nearby Baron Hotel.

The two sites were packed with people trying to flee Afghanistan and escape the Taliban. The tragic death toll from Thursday's attack is now 103 and rising.

Both suicide bombers were members of the radical Islamic State Khorasan Province group, also known as IS-K, which has committed countless atrocities in the region for years.

It is so extreme even though the Taliban has been accused of brutally enforcing an extreme version of Islam, IS-K considers them to be too "soft".

For years while the Taliban were engaged in a deadly war with US, British, Afghan and other coalition forces, the one thing they had in common was trying to wipe IS-K out.

And now, despite reports the Taliban is carrying out revenge attacks across Afghanistan, committing hundreds of executions and kidnapping 12 year old girls to be their "war brides", IS-K wants to go even further.

The group was formed out of the hardcore survivors of Isamic State group which took control of large parts of Iraq and Syria before it was effectively wiped out as a major military force in 2018.

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IS was the stuff of nightmares, carrying out thousands of massacres and executions, including throwing gay people off car parks, burning captured enemy troops alive and murdering tens of thousands of people, including 1,700 young air cadets in a single massacre in Iraq, burying them in mass graves.

But while IS-K does not have the same numbers of fighters, and for years American led drone strikes have kept killing its leaders, it has kept itself alive by recruiting the most extreme Afghan and Pakistani jihadists and is notorious for its barbaric cruelty.

In May last year three IS-K members walked into a maternity hospital. They shot 24 mothers, children, babies and nurses dead before security forces could respond.

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Believing women should not be educated, in May of this year IS-K set off a car bomb and two IEDs outside the Sayed al-Shuhada girls' school. Ninety pupils, aged between 11 and 15 years old, died.

For years the sect has wreaked death and destruction.

Seventy people were murdered in a suicide bomb attack at a voter registration centre in Kabul, more than 130 people died at an election rally in Pakistan, 80 people were killed at a wedding reception, 32 people at the funeral of a policeman, 25 people at a Sikh shrine.

Two gunmen entered Kabul University and shot 22 people.

The group is also infamous for its bloodcurdling propaganda videos, with some featuring young children – called the 'cubs of the caliphate' – executing people in cold blood.

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As part of its peace deal with the USA, the Taliban has promised to crackdown on IS-K and ensure the country is not allowed to become a base for terrorists.

President Joe Biden has also promised to get revenge on IS-K for the recent airport and hotel atrocities, which killed 13 US troops.

But analysts fear having fought IS-K for years and failed to wipe them out – despite using everything in their military arsenal except nuclear weapons – what are the chances of success?

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