Al Qaeda Could Be In A Position To ‘Threaten’ The US In One Year, Intelligence Director Claims
American top intelligence officials have warned that Al Qaeda may be in a position to threaten the US in just 12 months time.
Prior to the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, Pentagon officials expressed concerns that Al Qaeda could reconstitute within two years.
They’re now said to be revisiting this timeline in light of the group’s takeover last month.
As well as rebuilding in Afghanistan, officials have warned that the terrorist group may threaten the US in the not-so-distant future.
Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said today, September 14, as per The New York Times:
The current assessment probably conservatively is one to two years for Al Qaeda to build some capability to at least threaten the homeland.
David S. Cohen, the deputy director of the CIA, echoed similar concerns, and said that it’s difficult to tell on the timeline when Al Qaeda or the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan would ‘have the capability to go to strike the homeland’ before they could be detected.
In light of this, Cohen said that the CIA will be watching ‘some potential movement of Al Qaeda to Afghanistan’ by collecting information from afar.
Although he did not name specific members of the terrorist group who have travelled to Afghanistan since the Taliban’s return, Amin al Haq, Osama bin Laden’s former security chief, was seen on video returning to Nangarhar Province last month.
The Financial Times described Al Qaeda as ‘battered and weakened’ after Osama bin Laden’s death, but the militants could now use the Taliban’s take over of Afghanistan to their advantage.
The Pentagon’s concerns come after the Taliban signed an agreement with the Trump administration in February 2020 where is said that it would ‘not allow any of its members, other individuals or groups, including al-Qaeda, to use the soil of Afghanistan to threaten the security’ of the US.
The group also said it would ‘send a clear message that those who pose a threat to the security of the United States and its allies have no place in Afghanistan’, Financial Times reports.
Despite singing the agreement, the Taliban are said to have consulting with Al Qaeda for some time.
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CreditsThe New York Times and 1 other
The New York Times