ISIS in Afghanistan Might Be Able to Launch International Attacks Within a Year, Pentagon Official Warns

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jeremy-in-nc  •  2 weeks ago  •  11 comments

By:   Rebecca Kheel

ISIS in Afghanistan Might Be Able to Launch International Attacks Within a Year, Pentagon Official Warns
The Afghanistan branch of the Islamic State group, or ISIS-K, might be capable of launching international attacks in six to 12 months, a top Pentagon official told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

"We have considerable evidence that they have the intent; the question at the moment is the capability," Kahl added of al-Qaida and ISIS-K's desire to conduct attacks outside of Afghanistan.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



The Afghanistan branch of the Islamic State group, or ISIS-K, might be capable of launching international attacks in six to 12 months, a top Pentagon official told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

Colin Kahl, the under secretary of defense for policy, also reiterated U.S. officials' assessment that another group, al-Qaida, might regain the ability to launch attacks outside of Afghanistan in one to two years.



"We have considerable evidence that they have the intent; the question at the moment is the capability," Kahl added of al-Qaida and ISIS-K's desire to conduct attacks outside of Afghanistan.

Testifying alongside Kahl, Lt. Gen. James Mingus, director of operations for the Joint Staff, stressed that the intelligence assessments are "based on no U.S. or coalition intervention."

"The goal would be to keep those time horizons where they're at now, if not even further," Mingus added.



Under President Joe Biden's order, U.S. forces fully withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of August, ending a 20-year presence there.

Biden administration officials have said the military can keep terrorist threats in check by using so-called "over-the-horizon" forces, or troops and weapons based outside Afghanistan.

But unlike other countries where the American military conducts over-the-horizon operations, Afghanistan is landlocked and the United States does not have basing agreements with any neighboring nations.

Barring basing agreements being reached, that means any strikes will have to rely on military hardware based in the Persian Gulf region. That poses more difficulties than being in a neighboring country since aircraft have to fly further and thus can't stay over Afghanistan as long, the Pentagon has said.

On Tuesday, Kahl confirmed U.S. officials have had "extensive conversations" with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan on basing agreements, but said no deals have been reached.

The administration has "some very specific ideas" on how to win those countries' support for housing U.S. troops, Kahl said, but he declined to give specifics during the open session since the issue is "very sensitive." The committee held a classified session with Kahl and Mingus immediately after the open hearing.

The administration also has had conversations with Pakistan about using its airspace, Kahl said.

Right now, ISIS-K is mainly focused on "creating havoc" inside of Afghanistan, Kahl explained. The terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a number of high-profile attacks within Afghanistan in recent months, including August's Kabul airport bombing that killed 13 U.S. troops during the military's evacuation operations.

But, Kahl warned that there are some members of the group who "would love to conduct external attacks."

The Taliban and ISIS-K are sworn enemies, competing for territory and fighters, but U.S. officials have questioned the Taliban's ability to effectively contain the threat from ISIS.

Meanwhile, the Taliban has maintained close ties with al-Qaida, particularly the Haqqani network, despite agreeing in February 2020 to cut ties with the terrorist group as a condition of the U.S. withdrawal, U.S. and U.N. officials have said.

"We have seen signs ... that the Taliban is wary of Afghanistan being a springboard for al-Qaida external attacks," Kahl said, deferring further details on what those signs are to the classified session. "Not because the Taliban are good guys, but because they fear international retribution if that were to occur."


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Jeremy Retired in NC
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1  seeder  Jeremy Retired in NC    2 weeks ago

Seems the mission of the US was actually working in Afghanistan.  Now that we were disastrously pulled out, all hell could break loose.

 
 
 
Ronin2
PhD Quiet
1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1    2 weeks ago
Now that we were disastrously pulled out, all hell could break loose.

What do you mean could? I would call abandoning US citizens, Green Card holders, and Special VISA holders in Afghanistan as hell already having broken loose. 

Everything else going on over there now is just "What the hell did you think would happen?!" for this administration that ignored all warnings; and doesn't have a clue on what to do now.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
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1.1.1  seeder  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1    2 weeks ago

What do you mean could?

That was kind of out there wasn't it.  Anybody saying that they didn't see this coming is a liar.  

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
PhD Quiet
1.1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1    2 weeks ago

"What the hell did you think would happen?!"

Fact is, it does not look like the Biden administration did much thinking at all, and as you said, they still do not have a clue!

 
 
 
Nowhere Man
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2  Nowhere Man    2 weeks ago

The world has become a much more dangerous place... Iran is moving into Lebanon and is getting even more aggressive towards Israel, the Russians have moved three whole armored battalions to the border with Ukraine and security and intelligence services world wide are warning of a Russian invasion in January/February... the Chinese are getting even more aggressive towards Taiwan.... Heck the president of the UN general assembly is talking about what are they going to do if Germany will not allow the US to move nuclear weapons into Germany....

All since we essentially turned tail and ran away in Afghanistan leaving them with the equipment, some of it our most top secret equipment to start a serious little war...

The world sees us as vacillating, can't control the racists in our own country and leaving our allies to float on their own while we sort out our internal problems that for some reason seem to be in perfect alignment with their time frames...

Biden's policies are a disaster internationally, they are a disaster nationally...

I only hope we can survive as a nation for the next three years... That is seriously in doubt....

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
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2.1  seeder  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Nowhere Man @2    2 weeks ago
I only hope we can survive as a nation for the next three years...

If this administration remains that long, the next President will have a momentous and arduous task of literally rebuilding our country from the ground up.  

 
 
 
Ronin2
PhD Quiet
2.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @2.1    2 weeks ago

I think this is exactly what the Democrats planned. Of course they are the ones expecting to rebuild the country from the ground up into the next China.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
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2.1.2  seeder  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1.1    2 weeks ago
Of course they are the ones expecting to rebuild the country from the ground up into the next China.

With a little help from Russia.  

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
PhD Quiet
2.1.3  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @2.1    2 weeks ago

As long as they can keep Kamala Harris out of the loop as far as presidential succsession there is a chance. Allow her to become president and the chances of recovery may go from slim to none.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
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2.1.4  seeder  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2.1.3    2 weeks ago

Those chances are already slim to none.  Her taking over would be disastrous.  N. Korea would look better.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
2.1.5  Sparty On  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @2.1.3    2 weeks ago

And it only gets worse behind her .....

 
 
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