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Zawahri’s Kabul dying raises concerns about al Qaeda presence in Afghanistan immediately after US still left it to the Taliban

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Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahri’s demise in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is raising inquiries about no matter if the state is staying made use of as a base of functions for the terrorist group. 

“What unnerves me is that Al Zawahri felt comfortable plenty of remaining out in the open in the Kabul spot immediately after the Taliban takeover,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “So substantially for the Taliban rejecting al-Qaeda. This is proof positive that Afghanistan has after once again turn out to be a safe haven for global terrorists.”

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Countrywide safety professionals say Zawahri’s existence within the country signals a troubling romantic relationship amongst al Qaeda and the Taliban. The two corporations have prolonged co-existed along with 1 an additional, sharing equivalent techniques and ideologies.  

“There is certainly no doubt that they have been brothers — the Taliban and al Qaeda,” explained retired 4-star General Jack Keane, a previous vice chief of personnel of the United States Military.  “It can be not surprising that Zawahri returned to his loved ones in Kabul, in actuality, the dwelling that he was in belonged to an aide to a senior Taliban formal.” 

Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahri sitting down aspect by aspect
(Hamid Mir/Editor/Ausaf Newspaper for Day by day Dawn/Handout via REUTERS/File Picture)

Zawahri was killed by a U.S.-led drone strike around the weekend. The 71-yr-previous al Qaeda chief had dominated the terrorist group due to the fact the dying of Osama bin Laden in July 2011. 

A a person-time surgeon, Zawahri was known by U.S. intelligence as a terrorist mastermind for helping plot the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

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“We make it very clear yet again tonight that no make any difference how lengthy it requires, no matter where by you cover, if you are a menace to our people, the United States will discover you and choose you out,” claimed President Biden. 

The drone strike was the initially just one publicly acknowledged by the White Household due to the fact U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan previous yr. The withdrawal observed the U.S. abandon billions in army tools, air bases, and prisons crammed with enemy combatants to the Taliban. 

A woman wearing a burka walks through the old market as a Taliban fighter stands guard, in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 8, 2022. Afghan women are furious and fearful over a recent decree by the country's Taliban leaders that reinstated the burqa and similar outfits as mandatory for them in public. But some are defying the strict interpretation of Islamic dress codes, venturing out with less restrictive versions than that which the Taliban demanded — outfits that only reveal their eyes. (G3 Box News Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

A female donning a burka walks by the aged market as a Taliban fighter stands guard, in downtown Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Could 8, 2022. Afghan girls are furious and fearful over a current decree by the country’s Taliban leaders that reinstated the burqa and comparable outfits as necessary for them in community. But some are defying the demanding interpretation of Islamic gown codes, venturing out with considerably less restrictive variations than that which the Taliban demanded — outfits that only reveal their eyes. (G3 Box News Picture/Ebrahim Noroozi)
(G3 Box News)

Given Zawahri’s presence in Afghanistan, nationwide security industry experts say there are worries the Taliban is enabling al Qaeda to use the state as its base of operation for conducting terrorism. 

“Afghanistan is a petri dish rising threats to the area and past,” explained Dan Hoffman, a previous director of the CIA’s Center East and North Africa division. “The one lesson we uncovered from September 11 is that you can not give these guys ungoverned house.”

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The White Dwelling said Monday that Zawahri experienced urged his followers in new months to mobilize and assault the United States and its allies. Biden told the community throughout a prime-time address that Zawahri’s loss of life is component of a commitment by the U.S. to “by no means yet again permit Afghanistan to develop into a terrorist” secure haven. 

Some national safety professionals problem, on the other hand, whether or not the administration has the sources at its disposal to reside up to that pledge. 

Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahri speaks on the 11th Anniversary of Usama bin Laden's death

Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahri speaks on the 11th Anniversary of Usama bin Laden’s death
(G3 Box News Picture/Mazhar Ali Khan, File)

“Even the American govt has only so several means to devote to counterterrorism, notably with the predicament in Russia, China, and Ukraine,” mentioned James Jefferey, who served as former President Donald Trump’s specific envoy for combating ISIS. “It doesn’t signify we will never go just after al Qaeda in the long run, but there are a large amount of difficulty places currently out there.” 

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