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The US intelligence community has assessed that Islamic State in Afghanistan could have the capability of attacking the United States in as little as six months – and has the intention to do so, a senior Pentagon official has told Congress.

“The intelligence community currently assesses that both Isis-K [Islamic State Khorasan Province, the Afghanistan-based group] and al-Qaida have the intent to conduct external operations, including against the United States, but neither currently has the capability to do so. We could see Isis-K generate that capability in somewhere between six or 12 months,” said Colin Kahl, under secretary of defense for policy.

The remarks are the latest reminder that Afghanistan could still pose serious national security concerns for the US even after it ended its two-decade war in defeat in August.

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