From the Middle East to Afghanistan: The Evolution of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province


Dr Antonio Giustozzi, author of the books The Taliban at War and The Islamic State in Khorasan, will discuss the role of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, following the fall of Kabul. Alongside him will be Raffaello Pantucci, a researcher at RSIS whose work looks at security dynamics in the Eurasian heartland.

Their discussion will map the evolution of the Islamic State’s footprint from Syria to Afghanistan and its current relationship with the Taliban. Will future Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP) attacks, similar to the recent one that happened at Kabul International Airport taking the lives of hundreds of Afghans and 13 US servicemen, complicate Taliban efforts to demonstrate its control of Afghanistan? Will ISKP launch an assassination campaign to eliminate high-level Taliban cadres with the same tactics previously used by the Taliban themselves when they attacked Afghan government officials? Will the Taliban seek greater co-operation with the West and/or other external powers to target ISKP? Also, will greater engagement with outside powers, including China, promote dissatisfaction within Taliban ranks that will in turn increase the ISKP’s recruitment?

Moderated by Dr Alessandro Arduino, Principal Research Fellow, MEI (NUS), Dr Giustozzi and Mr Pantucci will explore these questions and look at the future of Eurasia security architecture, post-US and NATO withdrawals from the region.

This public talk will be conducted online via Zoom on Tuesday, 9 November 2021, from 4.00 pm to 5.30 pm (SGT). All are welcome to participate. This event is free, however, registration is compulsory. Successful registrants will receive a confirmation email with the Zoom details closer to the date of the event.

About the Speaker(s)

Dr Antonio Giustozzi holds a PhD from the LSE (International Relations) and a
BA in Contemporary History from the University of Bologna. He was at the Crisis States Research Centre in LSE until January 2011. He served with the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan from 2003to 2004 and is currently also affiliated with RUSI.

Mr Raffaello Pantucci is a Senior Fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also a Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI. Previously, he worked at strategic studies think tanks such as IISS and ECFR in London, CSIS in Washington and SASS in Shanghai.

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