KABUL: A top U.S. official on Tuesday warned that terrorist groups inside Afghanistan would be able to launch international attacks within six months if left unchecked.
“We’re actually fairly certain that they have the intention to do so,” said Colin Kahl, the Defense Department’s undersecretary for policy, during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the security situation in Afghanistan following the U.S. military’s withdrawal from the country.
“We could see ISIS-K generate that capability in somewhere between six or 12 months, according to current assessments by the intelligence committee. And for al Qaida, it would take a year or two to reconstitute that capability. We have to remain vigilant against that possibility.”
This has confirmed intelligence assessments delivered to lawmakers in classified sessions over recent weeks, and raise new concerns about the long-term threat posed to the American homeland by a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
Since US withdrawal from Afghanitan, conservative lawmakers have attacked President Joe Biden for the move, saying his withdrawal plan made both Afghanistan and America less safe.
“The war as we know it isn’t continuing, but the terrorist threat continues,” he said. “What we saw unfold in the last few months would have happened whenever we left Afghanistan.”
He also said that intelligence officials say the risk to the American homeland “is at its lowest point since Sept. 11, 2001″ despite the intentions of terrorist organizations working to regroup in Afghanistan.