FBI Director Christopher Wray stated Wednesday that legislation enforcement officers are involved Afghanistan might as soon as once more function a staging floor for terrorist groups following a chaotic U.S. withdrawal from the nation.
Wray acknowledged the likelihood whereas testifying throughout a Home Homeland Safety Committee briefing. Lawmakers sought readability from the FBI director and different prime nationwide safety officers about potential threats to the mainland U.S.
“We’re, after all, involved that there will likely be a chance for a protected haven to be re-created there, which is actually one thing we’ve seen up to now, and permit a international terrorist group to function extra freely within the area,” Wray stated in the course of the listening to.
The Biden administration has confronted bipartisan scrutiny in latest weeks over its dealing with of the withdrawal operation in addition to the Taliban’s gorgeous takeover of Afghanistan from U.S.-backed Afghan safety forces. Criticism intensified after ISIS-Ok militants carried out suicide bombings that killed 13 U.S. service members simply days earlier than the withdrawal was full.
“We’re involved that ISIS-Ok can reap the benefits of a considerably weakened safety atmosphere to function extra freely,” Wray added. “We’re additionally involved that the occasions there can function a catalyst or an inspiration for terrorists, whether or not they be members of [foreign terrorist organizations] or homegrown violent extremists, to conduct assaults.”
“Most significantly, we’re involved that international terrorist organizations may have a chance to re-constitute, to plot, conspire in an area that’s a lot tougher for us to gather intelligence and function towards than was the case beforehand,” he stated.
Top GOP officials have argued the everlasting withdrawal will go away U.S. officers unable to successfully observe threats and permit terrorist teams, akin to ISIS-Ok, to flourish.
President Biden and different prime administration officers say a everlasting presence in Afghanistan isn’t essential to successfully observe terrorist threats. They’ve additionally warned of penalties for the Taliban if the group harbors unhealthy actors.