Afghanistan threat: The rising threat of Al-Qaeda – will they hit back at US in a year?

Boris Johnson defends Joe Biden's handling of Afghanistan

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US troops may have withdrawn from Afghanistan this summer, but a US General has issued a terrifying warning about the threat from Al-Qaeda – claiming it is far from over. 

Afghanistan has been left in turmoil since western troops left the country in August after 20 years.

The US could face a terrorist threat in as little as 12 months a senior general warns.

Former US president George W. Bush sent troops into Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 terror attack in 2001.

The devastating attack was orchestrated by the terrorist group, Al-Qaeda and killed almost 3,000 people.

The US responded by demanding the Taliban, who were in control of Afghanistan at the time, hand over Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda.

When they refused the US moved troops in to remove the Taliban and vowed to eliminate the terrorist threat in the country.

Now fears are growing that Afghanistan could once again become a breeding ground for terrorist organisations.

Speaking to Congress on September 28, top US General Mark Milley warned the Taliban remains a terror organisation.

He said they hadn’t cut ties with Al-Qaeda, a group they sheltered from the US after the 2001 attack.

General Milley said: ”The Taliban was and remains a terrorist organisation and still has not broken ties with al-Qaeda.”

The US official added the US’s withdrawal would make it harder to shield Americans from terrorist attacks from Afghanistan.

He said: “A reconstituted al-Qaeda or ISIS [Islamic State group] with aspirations to attack the US is a very real possibility, and those conditions to include activity in ungoverned spaces could present themselves in the next 12-36 months.”

General Milley was questioned by senators over the cause of Afghanistan’s quick collapse.

He said in late 2020 he concluded that the accelerated withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, that President Joe Biden was pushing for, would cause the Afghan Government’s collapse.

Who is General Milley – how much influence does he have over US military policy?

General Milley is President Biden’s top military adviser.

He is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which is made up of the eight highest-ranking military officials in the US.

But he isn’t part of the US military’s chain of command, which means he cannot issue orders to US forces.

However, he is a crucial link between the White House and the Pentagon.

Before General Milley was appointed as chairman he served in the US military.

He held senior positions in the military and was a four-star officer.

His final role was the Army chief of staff before he was appointed as chairman in October 2019.

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