After the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials commented on Al Qaeda activity in Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that if the proscribed terror group, Al Qaeda threatens the United States from the war-torn country, the Taliban will be responsible for it.
Blinken said that although the Taliban has committed to not allow anyone to threaten any country, including the United States, from Afghanistan's territory, the US will not rely on that commitment.
"The Taliban has committed to prevent terrorist groups using Afghanistan as a base for external operations that could threaten the United States and our allies, including Al Qaeda and ISIS-K. We will hold them accountable for that. That does not mean that we will rely on it, we will maintain a visual effort to monitor threats, robust counterterrorism capabilities in the region to neutralize those threats, if necessary," Tolo News quoted Blinken as saying.
Earlier on Wednesday (local time), the CIA said that they are noticing early signs that Al Qaeda may be regrouping in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
According to the Deputy Director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, David Cohen said that current intelligence reports indicate "some potential motion of Al Qaeda [returning] to Afghanistan," reported Intelnews.org.
Cohen said that American intelligence agencies are closely monitoring the situation.
At the moment, the United States intelligence community estimates that it could take Al Qaeda between one and two years to amass its former strike capability, so as to directly threaten American interests, reported Intelnews.org.
The presence of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was the primary reason behind the invasion of the country by the United States in 2001. However, with the Taliban back in power in Afghanistan, there are concerns that Al Qaeda may make a comeback in the troubled country.
Under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda worked closely with the upper echelons of the Taliban in the 1990s and early 2000s. Contacts between the two groups continue to exist, and could potentially deepen following the exit of the United States and its Western allies from Afghanistan, reported Intelnews.org.
(With ANI inputs)
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