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Saudi Arabia’s former intel chief calls weapons proliferation danger in Afghanistan very worrying as terror risk grows

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief says he’s very nervous that American weapons may fall into the palms of militant teams equivalent to Al Qaeda, bolstering a sworn enemy of the USA within the wake of an exit from Afghanistan that he says was mismanaged.  

“I do not know which phrase to make use of, whether or not incompetence, carelessness, dangerous administration — it was all a mixture of these issues,” Prince Turki Al-Faisal instructed CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Paris on Saturday.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal served as head of the Saudi intelligence companies between 1979 and 2001, serving to to coordinate anti-Communist exercise in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion. He later tried — and failed — to barter the return of Osama bin Laden to Saudi Arabia within the years earlier than 9/11. 

“You realize Al Qaeda focused the dominion first earlier than anybody else,” Al-Faisal mentioned, referring to Saudi Arabia. “It is rather worrisome, that side of it, and now with this weaponry the ally of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, might get their palms on, it may be much more worrisome,” he added.

Taliban forces have been pictured with a spread of U.S.-made weaponry and automobiles seized from the Afghan navy, sparking worry in Saudi Arabia in regards to the enduring risk of ISIS and Al Qaeda and the place and with whom the tools may find yourself.

“When Mr. Trump made the take care of the Taliban earlier than he left workplace, it was inevitable that the federal government would lose its legitimacy,” Al-Faisal mentioned. “It is troublesome to know what led the USA to barter with them,” he added.   

The feedback are the primary overtly essential response from America’s Gulf Arab allies because the fall of Kabul on August 15.

They arrive as President Joe Biden warned on Saturday that one other assault on Kabul airport was “extremely probably.” The President additionally vowed to subject one other retaliatory strike towards the terrorists answerable for Thursday’s suicide bombing that killed 13 U.S. service members and greater than 110 Afghans. 

ISIS-Okay, referred to as Islamic State Khorasan, claimed duty for the assault. ISIS-Okay and the Islamic State had been as soon as allied with Al Qaeda, the terrorist group previously led by Osama bin Laden that orchestrated the September 11 assaults and different vital assaults in current many years. 

The more and more advanced risk from ISIS-Okay and others is a significant problem for the U.S. and western forces racing to evacuate the remaining navy personnel and Afghan allies escaping Afghanistan earlier than the August 31 withdrawal deadline.

NATO has been clear that it anticipated the Taliban to maintain its “dedication” that it’ll not permit Afghanistan to grow to be a haven for terrorists, Secretary Normal Jens Stoltenberg instructed CNBC in a current interview, nevertheless it’s nonetheless unclear if the Taliban is able to managing the attainable contagion, or if the newest assault in Kabul may embolden people or terror teams across the wider area.

Regional actors

Prince Turki mentioned it could be Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran, Pakistan, and international powers in strategic competitors with the U.S. like China and Russia that can wield vital affect in Afghanistan and among the many terrorist teams that interconnect there after the American withdrawal. 

A U.S. Marine assists at an Evacuation Management Test Level (ECC) throughout an evacuation at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 26, 2021.

Employees Sgt. Victor Mancilla | U.S. Marine Corps | through Reuters

“We have seen the Russian ambassador, Chinese language ambassador, Iranian ambassador and Pakistani ambassador not solely remaining in Kabul, however making statements about future relations with the Taliban,” he mentioned.

“There’s something happening between the Taliban and these international locations about the place they are going to go sooner or later,” he mentioned. 

China was among the many first international locations that expressed willingness to have interaction with the Taliban when it swept to energy in Afghanistan, in search of to select up the place America left off.

Nonetheless, whereas world confidence in American management might have been shaken, Al-Faisal mentioned the episode did not essentially imply the top of American supremacy globally: “I believe it is nonetheless too early to evaluate whether or not America is in a watershed second,” he mentioned.


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