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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Home Republicans warn prisoners freed by Taliban ‘pose critical concern’ to US safety

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EXCLUSIVE: The highest Republicans on the Home Homeland Safety, International Affairs and Armed Providers committees are demanding the White Home present crucial data associated to the 1000’s of detainees launched from Afghan prisons by the Taliban amid their takeover of Afghanistan, warning that the freed prisoners “pose critical concern to the safety of the USA.” 

In a letter to White Home nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan, completely obtained by Fox Information, Home Homeland Safety Rating Member John Katko, R-N.Y.; Home Homeland Safety Rating Member Michael McCaul, R-Texas; and Home Armed Providers Committee Rating Member Mike Rogers, R-Ala., demanded a response concerning the discharge of the 1000’s of prisoners, together with from the Pul-e-Charkhi jail in Kabul.

“Amidst the litany of safety, humanitarian, and diplomatic crises rising from the Biden-Harris Administration’s chaotic withdrawal course of in Afghanistan, we write regarding widespread media reporting that the Taliban has launched 1000’s of prisoners from detention amenities, together with the Pul-e-Charkhi jail in Kabul and at Bagram Air Base,” they wrote. 

“Prisoners reported to have been held in these detention amenities embody 1000’s of Taliban fighters, senior Al Qaeda operatives, Islamic State Afghanistan (ISKP) members, and former Guantanamo Bay detainees–all of whom pose critical concern to the safety of the USA,” they continued. 

Katko, McCaul and Rogers warned that the “quickly deteriorating state of affairs” in Afghanistan “means that the area might as soon as once more return to being a terrorist secure haven, serving to coach international fighters whereas permitting terrorist teams to plot, direct, and encourage assaults in opposition to the USA and the American individuals.”

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“The homeland safety challenges are additional exasperated by the continuing disaster alongside the southern border, the place the Division of Homeland Safety has confirmed encounters of Recognized or Suspected Terrorists (KSTs) and people from international locations throughout the globe,” Katko, McCaul and Rogers warned. 

The Republicans famous that U.S. Customs and Border Protection is taking part in a “crucial function” in “figuring out and mitigating terrorist journey,” however warned that the company is “at present strapped for sources because it manages the fallout from the administration’s disastrous border insurance policies.”


The Republicans went on to demand solutions as as to whether the U.S. authorities has “entry to census data associated to prisoners previously held at detention amenities in Afghanistan the place high-risk detainees have been held.” 

Republicans additionally requested Sullivan whether or not the federal government was conscious of any just lately launched people held at Afghan detention amenities who have been “beforehand concerned in terrorist plotting in opposition to the USA.” 

“In that case, please describe who, what number of, and in what terrorist actions they engaged,” they wrote, additionally asking that the White Home define “what choices exist” to forestall launched prisoners with terror affiliations from contributing to the “construct up” of al Qaeda or different terror teams in Afghanistan touring overseas to interact in acts of terrorism. 

Katko, McCaul and Rogers additionally questioned whether or not the Biden administration has taken any steps to “match or add” people from the Afghan detention amenities to the Terror Screening Database to “guarantee satisfactory vetting” ought to these launched prisoners try and journey internationally. The Republicans additionally demanded solutions as to what immigration companies are at present doing to observe the journey of watchlisted people “searching for to use vulnerabilities alongside the southwest border.” 

“Because the American individuals put together to mark the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist assaults of September 11, 2001, we’re soberly reminded of the hazards posed to the homeland by threats borne out of terror secure havens, like Afghanistan,” Katko, McCaul and Rogers wrote. 

The letter to Sullivan comes after he admitted to reporters on Tuesday that the worsening safety disaster in Afghanistan is presenting “broader challenges posed by the brand new realities in Afghanistan.” 

“We are going to stay persistently vigilant in opposition to the terrorism risk in Afghanistan,” Sullivan mentioned, including that the U.S. “has confirmed somewhere else that we are able to suppress terrorism and not using a everlasting army presence on the bottom.” 

“We’re going to must take care of the potential risk of terrorism from Afghanistan going ahead, simply as now we have to take care of potential risk of terrorism in dozens of nations, in a number of continents around the globe,” Sullivan mentioned, pointing to the terrorist threats from Yemen, Somalia, Syria, “throughout the Islamic Maghreb,” in addition to al Qaeda and ISIS-Ok.


Sullivan mentioned the U.S. is ready to take action by utilizing a “broad number of instruments, intelligence capabilities, protection capabilities, and sure, in some {cases}, help we are able to present to native companions to assist them take care of the problem.” 

Sullivan, although, mentioned the U.S. has “been profitable up to now in suppressing the terrorist risk to the U.S. homeland in these international locations, with out sustaining a everlasting army presence, or preventing a conflict.” 

“That’s what we intend to do with respect to Afghanistan as properly,” he mentioned. 


“So the query will not be whether or not we’re clear-eyed concerning the terrorist problem from Afghanistan. It’s about whether or not the terrorist problem in 2021 is essentially totally different from the terrorist problem in 2001,” Sullivan continued. 

“And we imagine it’s essentially totally different, and we must be postured successfully to take care of the terrorism challenges we discover at present, versus 20 years in the past,” he added. 

Nonetheless, throughout an unique interview with Fox Information on Tuesday, Katko warned that the “porous” southern border places the U.S. homeland safety at better threat than even earlier than 9/11. 

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