The Islamic State could be able to launch outside attacks in six to twelve months, the Pentagon says, just months after the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
US intelligence agencies believe ISIS-K has begun planning terrorist attacks on foreign soil in Afghanistan, possibly for the first time in six months.
The reports come just months after the disastrous withdrawal of Allied forces from the war-torn country, with warnings that it would create a haven for warlords.
Pentagon Undersecretary Colin Kahl told U.S. lawmakers Tuesday that Islamic State could be able to launch outside attacks in six to twelve months.
He described IS-K and the Taliban as “mortal enemies”.
Kahl, who appeared before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on Afghanistan, added that US intelligence believed it would take al-Qaeda “a year or two” to “restore its capabilities.”
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The Secretary of State also said it remains to be “clarified” whether the Taliban, an enemy of ISIS, will be able to effectively fight their rival group after the US withdrawal in August.
“The intelligence agency currently believes that both ISIS-K and al-Qaeda intend to conduct external operations, including against the United States, but neither are currently able to do so,” he said.
“We could see ISIS-K develop this ability in about six or twelve months,” he added, saying it could take al-Qaeda “a year or two”.
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Kahl spoke when the British Defense Secretary blamed Donald Trump for the collapse of Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban.
Ben Wallace told MPs that a deal struck by the Trump administration with Islamic extremists in 2020 “couldn’t have been more helpful to the regime in getting its victory.”
He made the claim when he was grilled over the military withdrawal that sparked an emergency evacuation of Western forces and diplomats that summer.
Wallace told the Defense Committee that the US had “sent a message to the world that it did not trust the government in office”.
“It (the deal) removed the only thing the Taliban feared from the battlefield … the terms of the deal probably couldn’t have been better for the Taliban to achieve their victory, their goal,” he said.
He denied that NATO soldiers had been militarily beaten, but admitted: “Our determination was lacking”.