Senior US Official: ISIS and al-Qaeda May Launch Attacks on the West
A senior Pentagon official tells US senators that al-Qaeda and ISIS-K in Afghanistan could launch attacks on the West within six months.
The US newspaper The Wall Street Journal quoted a senior official in the US Pentagon telling US lawmakers on Tuesday that the ISIS-K in Afghanistan may be able to launch attacks on the West and its allies within six months, and that al-Qaeda can do the same within two years.
The newspaper said that the testimony of the official, Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Biden administration, differed from the administration's previous estimation that al-Qaeda had diminished its capacity in Afghanistan.
While testifying at a Senate hearing on Afghanistan, Kahl confirmed that the US is fairly certain that both terrorist groups could launch such attacks and stressed that the US must remain vigilant against this possibility.
During the hearing, officials have faced stark questioning from senators about the terrorist organizations' threats, as well as the Biden administration's withdrawal from Afghanistan.
According to United Nations estimates, there are about 2,000 ISIS fighters operating in Afghanistan and an estimated 70,000 Taliban fighters.
The Wall Street Journal quoted the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy saying that the US cannot assess whether the Taliban, who took control of the country on August 15 and is ISIS' most ferocious enemy can counter its threat.