NEW YORK: US officials are concerned about the banned outfit Al Qaeda rebuilding and regrouping in Afghanistan, as per a report in The New York Times.
Top US intelligence officials noted that some members of the Al Qaeda had returned to Afghanistan as the Taliban consolidated their hold over the country.
The assessment from the US officials came amid concerns over the Taliban’s capacity to ensure that militants do not take advantage of the vacuum in the war-ravaged country and use Afghanistan’s soil as a launching pad against other countries.
Top intelligence officials met at the annual Intelligence and National Security Summit where they noted that it would take Al Qaeda at least one to two years before it can strike the US again.
“The current assessment probably conservatively is one to two years for Al Qaeda to build some capability to at least threaten the homeland,” Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said.
David S Cohen, the deputy director of the CIA, said it was hard to detect when the Al Qaeda or Daesh’s local affiliate would have the capability to threaten the US, adding that the CIA is keeping a close watch on “some potential movement of Al Qaeda to Afghanistan.”
“We’re thinking about ways to gain access back into Afghanistan with all kinds of source,” said General Berrier.