Islamic State group affiliate linked to Moscow attack has global ambitions

People bring flowers to the Crocus city hall in memory of victims of terrorist attacks in Moscow, Russia on March 23. US officials said ISIS-K was behind the terrorist attack there on Friday. [Nanna Heitmann/The New York Times]

WASHINGTON - Five years ago this month, a US-backed Kurdish and Arab militia ousted Islamic State group fighters from a village in eastern Syria, the group's last sliver of territory.

Since then, the organization that once staked out a self-proclaimed caliphate across Iraq and Syria has metastasized into a more traditional terrorist group - a clandestine network of cells from West Africa to Southeast Asia engaged in guerrilla attacks, bombings and targeted assassinations.

None of the group's affiliates have been as relentless as the Islamic State in Khorasan, which is active in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran and has set its sights on attacking Europe and beyond. US officials say the group carried out the attack near Moscow on Friday, killing scores of people and wounding many others.

In January, Islamic State-Khorasan, or ISIS-K, carried out...

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