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Following Moscow attack, terrorism expert says “it’s only a matter of time” before terrorists strike the U.S. again

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Image of first responder outside the venue of the attack in the Crocus City Hall concert hall in Moscow, Russia; ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack.

An attack at a concert hall in Moscow on Friday resulted in the deaths of more than 133 people, and injuries to over 100 others. Islamic State in Khorasan Province, a regional branch of the Islamic State (ISIS-K), claimed responsibility for the attack. The group was founded in 2015, and has been responsible for a number of recent international attacks, including the attack on Kabul Airport in 2021 during the U.S. military withdrawal that resulted in the deaths of 13 Americans and more than 130 civilians.

Northeastern Global News spoke to Max Abrahms, associate professor of political science at Northeastern University, and a leading expert on terrorism, to get some background on ISIS-K. Abrahms breaks down the latest attack in Russia, and what it might signal for U.S. homeland security and other national security interests. 

What do we know about this emerging ISIS affiliate group?

During the Islamic State’s high point — from its emergence in 2014 until roughly 2017-2018 — the group’s stronghold was in Iraq and Syria. The Islamic State, or ISIS, is not a very strategic group, as far as terrorist groups are concerned. There’s wide variation in how strategic terrorist groups are, and I would put the Islamic State on the low end. What it tried to do was kill as many people, especially civilians, in as many countries as possible; and the predictable effect was that it managed to create the largest counterterrorism coalition ever assembled. 

Read more at Northeastern Global News.

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