US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Thursday that al-Qaeda, an extremist group that used Afghanistan as a springboard to attack the United States 20 years ago, may try to reappear in the country after the withdrawal of American troops, which left the Taliban in power…
“That’s the nature of this organization,” he told a small group of reporters in Kuwait after a four-day tour of the Gulf states.
Austin said the United States was prepared to prevent al-Qaeda from returning to Afghanistan, which would threaten the United States.
The Taliban offered sanctuary to al-Qaeda when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.
The United States invaded and overthrew the Taliban after they refused to hand over al-Qaeda leaders after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
During the 20-year war, the United States drastically reduced al-Qaeda’s potential, but the Taliban’s return to Kabul raised questions about its future prospects.
“We made the Taliban aware that we expect them not to allow this,” Austin said, referring to the possibility of al-Qaeda using Afghanistan as a foothold in the future. .
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