President Joe Biden’s constant refrain in the limited addresses he has given the American public about the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan has returned to his claims about what has been accomplished. He goes back to talking points about killing Osama bin Laden and keeping the homeland safe from Afghanistan-based terrorist attacks at every opportunity.
However, the concern now turns to whether Afghanistan just became a terror haven for the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS-K all over again. For example, Biden’s team had to correct his false assertion that Al-Qaeda was eradicated from Afghanistan.
The most stunning revelation about the condition in which Afghanistan has been left is the story about Osama bin Laden’s security chief making a triumphant return to his home province in the country under Taliban protection. His thumbs-up greeting to throngs of admirers devastatingly undercuts the idea that Al-Qaeda is not active in Afghanistan and partnering with the Taliban.
Dr. Amin al Haq was the head of Osama bin Laden’s Black Guard. When he was videoed arriving as part of a convoy of vehicles in Nangarhar province, he was accompanied by Taliban fighters, traveling in new SUVs. The crowd that gathered to greet him waited to shake his hand and take selfies with him.
Less than two weeks ago, Biden declared that the danger from ISIS and Al-Qaeda comes from countries other than Afghanistan. He made those claims before Al Haq returned to Afghanistan and before the suicide bomb attack at the Kabul airport that left 13 U.S. service members dead and many others injured. Biden also overlooked the thousands of terrorists released from prison when the Taliban abandoned Bagram Air Base.
Despite attempts by Jake Sullivan and others in Biden’s camp to distance Biden from his claims that Al-Qaeda poses no threat to America from Afghanistan, the reality is now being handled more carefully by the administration. Of course, just as Biden turned his back on the cameras after his short address on Tuesday afternoon, he has probably decided to “move on” from terror problems in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, America’s terrorist enemies are not likely to go along.