Experts warn potential of al Qaeda attacks in U.S. after Afghanistan’s fall to Taliban just reached 20 year high

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According to a report from Fox News, Centennial Institute research director Dr. Tom Copeland voiced concerns of al Qaeda being able to find a “safe haven” in Afghanistan, with the country now coming under control of the Taliban.

The proclaimed “expert in intelligence failures and mass casualty terrorist attacks” notes that following the United States’ withdrawal from the country, we’ll now have a “limited window” into what terrorists may be planning.

With the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan coinciding on the same year that serves as the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, Dr. Copeland worries that the United States may be under the threat of another coordinated attack down the line that would be similar in nature:

“Having an entire country as a safe haven, will give [al Qaeda] more physical space and more breathing space to reconstitute and go back to planning major events, so I think the U.S. withdrawal itself is a large part of that threat.”

It’s believed that with Taliban having complete control of Afghanistan, al Qaeda is likely to settle in the region and conduct business as usual – which isn’t exactly a good thing since America is going to be devoid of on-the-ground eyes and a presence to curb such endeavors, Dr. Copeland said:

“Even though we may be better organized to defend the homeland than we were in 2001, this withdrawal is going to leave us with a much more limited window into what the terrorists are doing inside Afghanistan.”

As recently as August 20th, President Joe Biden seemed to downplay the idea that al Qaeda could be a problem in Afghanistan, claiming that they’re “gone” from the country:

“Let’s put this into perspective here. What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al Qaeda gone?”

Defense Department press secretary John Kirby seemed to contradict President Biden’s earlier statement roughly an hour after the fact, noting that while they don’t “have an exact estimate” on the number of al Qaeda operatives are in the country, he did confirm that they’re still some present:

“We know that al Qaeda is a presence as well as ISIS in Afghanistan. And we’ve talked about that for quite some time. We do not believe it is exorbitantly high, but we don’t have an exact figure for you, as I think you might understand.”

Fox News contributor and military historian Victor Davis Hanson concurs with Dr. Copeland’s assertions that trouble could be brewing following the United States’ exit from Afghanistan:

“The next three and a half years, I think, will be our most dangerous since the 1950s of the Cold War.”

Hanson added that Afghanistan has the propensity to now serve as the central hub for all anti-American efforts:

“Jihadists now have a centrally located haven that has a proven record of successfully launching anti-Western terrorist operations; the Taliban are far more jubilant now than in the past, given the climatic defeat of the entire NATO coalition, and, finally, they feel there no longer exists U.S. deterrence.”

Paul D. Miller, who served in the military and as a CIA operative in Afghanistan, later becoming the director of the Afghanistan desk for the National Security Council under the Bush and Obama administrations, said the United States’ is facing a greater international terrorism risk now than in the past two decades:

“I am confident saying that the U.S. is at higher risk of international terrorism today than at any point in the last 20 years.”

Miller said that while the U.S. was in Afghanistan for the past 20 years, al Qaeda was constantly on the run, but now they have an opportunity to reconvene in a region that will likely welcome them, and the U.S. won’t have a presence to serve as a deterrence:

“They were spending their energy and their time running and hiding from our airstrikes or drones or Special Forces. They didn’t have time to plan their attacks.”

“They now have breathing room to reconstitute themselves and focus on creating, recruiting, fundraising and planning. They couldn’t do that for 20 years. Now they can. That means we are all at heightened risk of a terrorist attack – not just United States, but this could very well be our European partners as well.”

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After banning President Trump, Twitter says Taliban can remain on platform as long as they don’t get too violent

(Originally published August 18th, 2021)

According to reports, Twitter is allowing the Taliban to remain on their platform, so long as the group doesn’t violate their terms of service. It’s a move befuddling to many, as both Facebook and TikTok will not allow any posts that even promote the Taliban.

While Afghanistan’s Taliban is not listed on the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, the group certainly fit the mold to be declared one – which a 2017 report from VOA News suggests the Taliban only remained off the State Department’s list for hopes that peace talks could be accomplished.

On August 17th, social media outlets Facebook and TikTok confirmed that they will continue to view the Taliban as a terrorist organization and will ban any content that even promotes the Taliban.

Facebook has even gone so far to start banning profiles flagged as being linked to Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.

Yet, while Facebook and TikTok plainly stated that the Taliban (or promotion of it) would be barred from their platforms, Twitter’s statement on the matter fell short.

Instead of the company spokesperson outright saying the Taliban would be banned, the spokesperson claimed that Twitter policies will continue to be enforced:

“We will continue to proactively enforce our rules and review content that may violate Twitter rules, specifically policies against glorification of violence, platform manipulation and spam.”

“The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving. We’re also witnessing people in the country using Twitter to seek help and assistance. Twitter’s top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant.”

Sometimes it’s what’s not said that rings the loudest, and Twitter’s official statement regarding the Taliban’s presence on the platform says it all. And as sure as anything, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid is on the platform (with over 300K followers).

Most of August 15th, Mujahid took to Twitter announcing all of the areas that the Taliban conquered throughout Afghanistan:

“The military units of the Islamic Emirate entered Kabul to provide security. Sect 111 Pul-e-Charkhi was conquered, and progress continues normally. Also, the centers of 11 districts of Kabul (Stalf, Sarobi, Deh Sabz, Qarabagh Khakjabar, Paghman, Bagrami, Musa, Chaharsiab, Goldara and Shakardara) were conquered.”

“The city of Parun, the capital of Nuristan province, was also conquered. Moments ago, the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate entered the city of Parun, the capital of Nuristan province, and seized the provincial building, the police headquarters, the intelligence center and all its accessories. A large number of weapons, tools and equipment fell into the hands of the Mojahedin.”

“Charikar city, the capital of Parwan province, was also conquered. During today’s rapid Fatah operation in the city, the provincial governor, the police chief, and the intelligence center, with all its accessories, came under the complete control of the Mojahedin. A large number of weapons, tools and equipment fell into the hands of the Mojahedin.”

The irony cannot be lost on this, regarding Twitter’s allowance of the Taliban and their spokesperson to remain on their platform.

While as recently as January, the platform decided to ban former President Trump permanently for “incitement of violence” in connection to the January 6th riot – the platform is allowing Zabihullah Mujahid to offer a play-by-play of the violent overthrow of a government.

One must remember the two tweets from former President Trump that, in Twitter’s own statement on January 8th, was deemed as being tantamount to a “glorification of violence”.

The first offending tweet was:

“The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”

And the second offending tweet was:

“To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

But apparently, Zabihullah Mujahid detailing how the Taliban “conquered” city after city, forcibly taking control of police stations and government buildings, seizing assets and weapon via hostile force – that is somehow not only allowed, but also isn’t a “glorification of violence”.

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