Afghanistan Uncategorized

US Congress reacts to assessments of al-Qaeda threats in Afghanistan

US evaluations of al-Qaeda’s activity and threats in Afghanistan have prompted reactions among US Congress members. In a testimony before the House Committee on Worldwide Threats, Representative Michael Waltz addressed Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, questioning the alignment of US threat assessments with the UN’s report on the emergence of new al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan.

Waltz raised concerns, stating, “The UN is reporting that al-Qaeda has established 8 new training camps in Afghanistan and lists the specific provinces where al-Qaeda currently has training camps, including a new base too… yet the [US] threat assessment says al-Qaeda is basically not much of a threat,” expressing dissatisfaction with the US’s evaluation of al-Qaeda threats in Afghanistan.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines responded by acknowledging al-Qaeda’s ongoing intent to attack the US and the West, but pointed out the group’s limited capacity to execute such plans.

The issue of rising threats from al-Qaeda was also emphasized by other Congress members. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick criticized the US’s recent foreign policy actions, stating, “As we have seen time and time again, when America is strong and projects that strength [with] America the world are safer. When America is weak and divided and we project that weakness, America is less safe and the world is much less safe. Director Rain, you reminded all of us of the heightened terrorism threat that should come as no surprise given just in the past several years a disastrous pull out of Afghanistan a green which projected weakness a green lightening north stream to which projected weakness.”

The UN’s recent report revealed that al-Qaeda has established eight new training camps and five madrasas, or Islamic educational institutions, across Afghanistan, with locations in provinces including Ghazni, Laghman, Parwan, and Uruzgan.

Military analyst Mohammad Radmanish expressed concerns about the future impact of these camps, stating, “The al-Qaeda members who have been operating as mentors or trainers in seminaries in different provinces will be problematic in the future.”

Despite this, the Taliban has repeatedly denied the presence of terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan, claiming that Daesh has been suppressed and no other group poses a threat from Afghan soil to other countries.