Nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan was questioned throughout a press briefing Monday on whether or not President Biden understands the “full image” concerning the potential terrorism risk popping out of Afghanistan now that the Taliban have taken over the nation.
Biden, who has repeatedly defended his pullout of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, claimed from the White Home Friday that al Qaeda was “gone” from the nation, including, “We went to Afghanistan for the categorical function of eliminating al Qaeda in Afghanistan in addition to getting Usama bin Laden, and we did.”
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Secretary of State Antony Blinken later appeared to contradict Biden, telling Fox Information on Sunday that there are nonetheless “remnants” of the terrorist group in Afghanistan however that its “capability has been very efficiently diminished.”
Throughout a White Home press briefing Monday afternoon, Fox Information’ Peter Doocy identified the obvious discrepancy, asking Sullivan whether or not officers have been “presenting the president with the total image” or if he was “simply misapplying the intelligence” when he made his feedback.
“The president was referring to al Qaeda’s functionality to assault the USA, which the intelligence group tells us immediately will not be current in Afghanistan,” Sullivan responded. “What’s current in Afghanistan proper now … is a severe risk from ISIS-Okay, which we’re attempting to take care of. And naturally, there’s the likelihood that al Qaeda may reconstitute an exterior plot functionality in Afghanistan.”
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Sullivan continued: “That is why you have heard from the president repeatedly concerning the want for an over-the-horizon functionality that may permit the USA, working with companions, to proceed to suppress the terrorism risk in Afghanistan from al Qaeda or ISIS-Okay or anybody else, simply as we work to suppress the terrorism risk from al Qaeda and ISIS in Yemen, in Syria, in Somalia, within the Islamic Maghreb, in lots of different nations,” he mentioned, referring to the Islamic State Khorasan Province.
“And let me simply end by saying the president has been clear that from his perspective, American counterterrorism capabilities have developed to the purpose the place we are able to suppress that terrorism risk with out holding hundreds or tens of hundreds of troops on the bottom in a rustic,” he added. “We have now confirmed that out in different nations and that’s precisely what we intend to do in Afghanistan.”
Up to now, Biden has pointed to Syria and East Africa as areas the place Islamic terrorists pose a better risk to Individuals on U.S. soil than Afghanistan, and but the U.S. doesn’t have a large navy presence in these areas.
The president met together with his nationwide safety staff over the weekend to debate counterterrorism efforts and the safety state of affairs in Afghanistan whereas the U.S. navy continues to evacuate hundreds of individuals out of the airport in Kabul.
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Sullivan beforehand mentioned the terrorist risk persons are going through on the airport by congregating collectively in massive teams is “actual.”
“The risk is actual. It’s acute. It’s persistent. And it’s one thing we’re targeted on with each instrument in our arsenal,” he advised CNN on Sunday.
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