The MI5 director general: Taliban’s takeover to have “inspirational effect” on terrorist groups in the West.
The triumph of the Taliban has emboldened jihadi terror groups across the world and make large-scale terrorist attacks more likely in the near future, the head of British intelligence said.
The Taliban takeover will have an “immediate inspirational effect” on Islamic terrorist groups in the West and may result in “well-developed, sophisticated plots of the sort that we faced in 9/11 and the years thereafter,” MI5 chief Ken McCallum disclosed in an interview to the BBC on Saturday.
British intelligence fears that a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan may offer a base of operation to international terrorists as had happened in the years running up to the 9/11 attack, the spy chief said. Between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan provided safe haven and training ground to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda and several other foreign Islamic terrorist groups.
The BBC reported intel chief’s alarming remarks:
Director general Ken McCallum (…) warned that the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban was likely to have “emboldened” UK terrorists.
The terror threat would not change overnight but there could be a “morale boost” for extremists, he said. “The terrorist threat to the UK, I am sorry to say, is a real and enduring thing.”
“Of course there are likely to be terrorist attacks on UK soil on my watch,” he said, saying MI5 works as hard as it can to stop them happening but “to our horror, we know that won’t be possible on every single occasion”.
The head of the security service added that MI5 had “saved thousands of lives across the last 20 years” but it “cannot always succeed”. (…)
“There is no doubt that events in Afghanistan will have heartened and emboldened some of those extremists and so being vigilant to precisely those kinds of risks is what my organisation is focused on along with a range of other threats,” he said.
But there is still also a risk of an increase in larger plots directed by terrorism groups like al-Qaeda, he warned.
“The big concern flowing from Afghanistan alongside the immediate inspirational effect is the risk that terrorists reconstitute and once again pose us more in the way of well-developed, sophisticated plots of the sort that we faced in 9/11 and the years thereafter,” Mr McCallum said.
The fears expressed by the MI5 chief are well-founded in the reality unfolding in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, the Taliban announced a new government stacked with the members of the previous al Qaeda-linked regime.
The Taliban police and security services will be controlled by the newly-appointed Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on the FBI’s most-wanted list with a $10 million bounty on his head.
Sirajuddin belongs to the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, a Pakistan-based terrorist outfit that carried out deadly attacks against the U.S. and allied troops in Afghanistan. “The Haqqanis are considered the most lethal and sophisticated insurgent group targeting US, Coalition, and Afghan forces in Afghanistan,” a report by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center disclosed. The jihadi network is also responsible for the abduction and the subsequent release of U.S. Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl.
The news of the Taliban’s takeover has been welcomed by terrorist groups waging jihad against Israel and India. The head of Gaza-based jihadi group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, congratulated the Taliban for their ‘victory’ against their common foe, the United States. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group also issued a statement welcoming the return of the Taliban reign in Afghanistan.
Despite the recent assurances given be Taliban leadership, the Islamist militia has apparently not severed ties with al Qaeda or other terrorist groups. When Taliban fighters captured Kabul, they freed around 10,000 convicted and battle-hardened terrorists from the Afghan national prison and from the nearby Bagram detention center. The terrorists released from these prisons include high-profile members of the al Qaeda and Islamic State.DONATE
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