Officials fear Taliban conquest of Afghanistan could boost other terror groups

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Officials fear Taliban conquest of Afghanistan could boost other terror groups
Al-Qaeda and others may now be able to swiftly regroup and pose threat, US officials warn, as senior Hamas member says Taliban victory a ‘lesson for all oppressed peoples’
By AP and TOI staff

WASHINGTON — America’s top general said Sunday that the United States could now face a rise in terrorist threats from a Taliban-run Afghanistan. That warning comes as intelligence agencies charged with anticipating those threats face new questions after the US-backed Afghan military collapsed with shocking speed. Less than a week after a military assessment predicted Kabul could be surrounded by insurgents in 30 days, the world on Sunday watched stunning scenes of Taliban fighters standing in the Afghan president’s office and crowds of Afghans and foreigners frantically trying to board planes to escape the country.

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators on a briefing call Sunday that US officials are expected to alter their earlier assessments about the pace of terrorist groups reconstituting in Afghanistan, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. In June, the Pentagon’s top leaders said an extremist group like al-Qaeda may be able to regenerate in Afghanistan and pose a threat to the US homeland within two years of the American military’s withdrawal from the country.

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