Okay, It’s Time to Understand the Difference in the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS

Sandy Ingram
3 min readAug 26, 2021
Image purchased from Depositphotos

All three Islamic State, al-Qaeda and the Taliban are all described as (radical) jihadist groups with goals to rid the world and Islam from the threat of the Western culture.

The three groups don’t always get alone and the bombing at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan on August 26th 2021, was believed to be carried out by the Islamic State. Something about the Taliban being too friendly with the Western World.

Any way here is an overview of the differences between the group and why one group has a more violent reputation then the other. Most Muslims, I am told, do not condone such behavior, however, these groups hang on to religion, like a ladder clinging to a building.


Al-Qaeda basically is an extreme form of Sunni Islam that follows the Koran, literal interpretation. Al-Qaeda was founded in 1988 in Pakistan. The word Al-Qaeda means “foundation” in the Arabic language. According to my research, they believe in the concept of “defensive jihad” meaning it is the duty and obligation to fight those who oppose Islam.

Al-Qaeda is the group accused of plotting and implementing 9/11 where 2,977 people were killed.

Moving on to the Taliban

The Taliban’s has different principles then al-Qaeda and operate from within the lifestyle of the Pashtun tribal way of life in Afghanistan. The similarities in the Taliban and al-Qaeda is they both practice the Sunni religion of Islam.

The word Taliban means student, in the Arabic language. The group is believed to have started within or through religious seminaries that taught a strict version of Sunni Islam. My research did not reveal a reliable date for the start of the Taliban. However, I did learn there are several different groups use the Taliban name.

I personally believe it was that meeting between, the Taliban leader and the Director of the CIA that upset the Islamic State.

Islamic State

The Islamic State supposedly was formed in 2014.

This group is considered high-tech and uses social media to recruit young members. It seems they may also…

Sandy Ingram

Retired US citizen traveling the world, slowly. Author and Retired Tax Professional Registered With DOT Since 1999.