After originally, and on numerous occasions, denying that al-Qaeda could strengthen in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden, now says it’s possible. He made the comments on the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks while defending the disastrous pull-out from Afghanistan allowing a Taliban takeover.
The president, who was met with boos and chants of “murderer” from the crowd at the New York commemoration event of the Sept. 11 attacks, later admitted to reporters the terrorist group could “come back.”
In July he wrongly stated that al-Qaeda and ISIS were not even present in the country.
The Biden administration’s evacuation efforts came to a halt on Aug. 30, leaving thousands stranded including hundreds of Americans. The abandonment of the country returned control of the nation to the Taliban after a 20-year war to remove them from power. It ended with the murder of 13 U.S. troops by a suicide bomber.
Biden touted that the U.S. had responded by killing one of the planners of the attack. But this week it was revealed that the man killed was actually an aid worker loading water jugs into his family’s vehicle. Thirteen children, including all of the man’s children, were killed in the airstrike. Military observers say the strike was directed by the White House purely for “optics” as the president’s poll numbers shrink to historic low levers.
Between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban allowed al-Qaeda to operate within Afghanistan before the United States invaded and overthrew the Taliban in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Over the past two decades, al-Qaeda has been vastly diminished, as its former leader Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011, but with the Taliban takeover, questions remain about whether the group could return to prominence.
The respected journal Foreign Policy states the “Taliban’s immediate takeover of the country—is the biggest boost to al Qaeda and the global jihadist movement since 9/11.”
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is stating that the international community is “watching to see what happens and whether or not al Qaeda has the ability to regenerate in Afghanistan.”
Austin said that the United States has issued a warning to the Taliban not to harbor al-Qaeda or any other terror group. The group was put “on notice that we expect them not to allow that to happen,” he remarked.