WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 27 — Al-Qaeda’s reign of terror a decade after its 9/11 attacks in the U.S. seemed to be coming to an end after Osama bin Laden, the founder of the militant terrorist group, was found and killed in 2011. But the terrorists didn’t just go away. Instead, Al-Qaeda and its affiliates, including the Taliban, have been actively carrying out deadly attacks in other parts of the world.
However, there is concern that President Biden’s surrender to the dodgy Taliban regime and their partners in crime, Al-Qaeda, may have emboldened them.
Ken McCallum, Director General of MI5, Britain’s FBI, told the BBC, “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 … Overnight you can have a psychological boost or morale boost to extremists already here, or in other countries. So, we need to be vigilant both for the increase in inspired terrorism, which has become a real trend for us to deal with over the last five to 10 years, alongside the potential regrowth of Al Qaeda style directed plots, that we saw more commonly some years ago.”
Even Afghanistan’s pro-Taliban neighbor to the north, Pakistan, is worried despite the fact that it was a cause for celebration there when America suddenly ended its war and withdrew its forces last month. Raoof Hasan, special assistant to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, took to social media to express joy, commenting in one Tweeter message: “Afghanistan is presently witnessing a virtually smooth shifting of power from the corrupt Ghani government to the Taliban” and in a separate Tweet that “The contraption that the U.S. had pieced together for Afghanistan has crumbled like the proverbial house of cards.”
But although Pakistan is seemingly happy that the Taliban won its fight with the U.S., the Washington Post points out that terrorists — including the Taliban — are “waging a bloody insurgency” in Pakistan aimed at turning the nation into a fundamentalist Islamist state. The Post reports that “The result, say analysts and current and former Pakistani and U.S. officials, is a renewed dilemma for a Pakistani military establishment that has sought since the late 1970s to strategically harness — but also carefully contain — the combustible rise of religious fervor in the country.”
In a separate story, the Post says that pro-Taliban religious Islamic leaders have long been inciting unrest. In 2007, the report notes, armed militants took over the Red Mosque in Islamabad, triggering a week-long siege by Pakistani security forces that ended with more than 100 dead. Islamic cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz led that takeover. He’s been charged for that event and numerous other criminal acts but has never been convicted. And now, he gloats over the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
After the Taliban took over in Afghanistan, he said, “The coming of the Taliban was an act of God. The whole world has seen that they defeated America and its arrogant power. It will definitely have a positive effect on our struggle to establish Islamic rule in Pakistan, but our success is in the hands of God.”
The Post story goes on to say that the Pakistani Taliban has been at war with the government of Pakistan for years and that the Afghan Taliban’s success could encourage them to “launch a new holy war” there.
Recently, Abdul Aziz flew the new flag of what the Taliban has renamed the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Police were ordered to take the flag down, and he defied them in a social media video, saying, “Pakistan’s Taliban will not spare them.”