Al-Qaida's power base in Afghanistan now 'worse' than before 9/11

Service members rest and wait at Personnel Support for Contingency Operations en route to Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2021, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The service members are deploying in support of Operation Allies Refuge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kylie Barrow)
Service members rest and wait at Personnel Support for Contingency Operations en route to Afghanistan, Aug. 18, 2021, at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The service members are deploying in support of Operation Allies Refuge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kylie Barrow)

When Joe Biden abruptly withdrew all American troops from Afghanistan last year, he left behind billions of dollars worth of American war machinery for the Taliban – the terror organization then taking over the country – to have and to use.

He also left behind hundreds of Americans, despite his promise that he would see to it that every one got out.

Further, there were thousands of nationals who had worked with the U.S. during its years-long presence there, and who were likely to face the wrath of the terrorists who took control of the nation, and installed themselves as the government.

The U.S., of course, originally had gone in because of the Islamic extremists who were threatening and killing people and destabilizing that part of the world. And carrying out 9/11.

Now the situation is worse, according to an analyst.

Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and editor of the Long War Journal, said in a report at Just the News that now the Taliban controls all 34 provinces – as opposed to about three-quarters as of the 9/11 date when Muslim extremists commandeered four jets and created terror in Washington and New York, costing nearly 3,000 American residents their lives.

“The State Department’s policy essentially normalizes Taliban control of Afghanistan,” he explained. “This is absolutely insane. If the U.S. is unwilling to support the Afghan resistance, then it’s effectively ceding Taliban control to Afghanistan.”

His response came after the State Department unleashed its condemnation on Afghans who now are fighting the Taliban.

There is a resistance because, the report explained, “the Islamist group in control of Afghanistan allows al-Qaida to operate freely across the country.”

It is the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, a military alliance opposed to the Taliban, that “recently ambushed the Taliban and took control of areas in the Khost district of Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan,” the report explained.

That’s not good, the State Department claimed.

Officials there rebuked the ambush in a statement to The Foreign Desk, and threatened that it wouldn’t support “violent opposition” to the Taliban.

“Many observers expressed shock and outrage at the State Department’s condemnation of Afghans for fighting back,” Just the News reported. “Just the News reached out to the State Department to clarify its intended message and whether it’s the position of the department that Afghans shouldn’t resist Taliban rule.”

A spokesperson responded, “We are monitoring the recent uptick in violence closely. We call on all sides to exercise restraint and to engage. This is the only way that Afghanistan can confront its many challenges. We want to see the emergence of stable and sustainable political dispensation via peaceful means. We are not supporting organized violent opposition to the Taliban and we would discourage other powers from doing so as well.”

Further, the statement that was released said the U.S. isn’t focusing on “recognition.”

“Our focus is on working to advance American interests related to Afghanistan, including counterterrorism, economic stabilization, human rights, and safe passage. We are working with our allies and partners to press the Taliban to follow through on its public commitments made to the Afghan people, as well as the international community, before we can proceed with moving toward any kind of significant normalization.”

The Taliban, of course, has returned Afghanistan to much the state it was in before the U.S. entered years ago. There have been reports of random executions of those who oppose the Taliban, women being restricted from travel without a companion, and girls being deprived of an education.

Roggio noted that information coming out of Afghanistan should be considered suspect, too, whether it’s from the Taliban or the resistance, because the nation is a “media black hole.”

It was before the U.S. moved in during 2001 that the Taliban controlled, and gave permission to al-Qaida to use, the region as a safe haven from which to launch terrorism.

The result was 9/11.

“This is a worse situation than before 9/11,” explained Roggio. “The Taliban is lying about its commitments. We couldn’t trust the Taliban with leverage and U.S. troops on the ground. Now we don’t have any leverage. But we’re still going to take the Taliban at its word?”

The report explains al-Qaida currently is running training camps across Afghanistan.

And some officials in the new Taliban government have links to al-Qaida, including Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, now the prime minister.

He’s been on the U.N.’s black list for years, and when the U.N. years ago demanded the Taliban hand over Osama bin Laden, Akhund said, “We will never give up Osama at any price.”

Roggio told Just the News the 9/11 Commission Report “makes clear that the ability to have a safe haven is critical for terror groups to train, plan, recruit, and have shelter and security.”

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