Terrorists who had been rounded up across Afghanistan are now on the loose.
One prize in the total collapse of the former government and military of Afghanistan was that the Taliban were able to overrun Bagram Air Base on Sunday, where, according to the BBC, occupying forces began to set free inmates there at Pul-e-Charkhi prison.
In early July, when the U.S. handed control of the base to Afghan forces, CNN reported that between 5,000 and 7,000 prisoners were housed there, including “senior al Qaeda and Taliban figures.”
100s of Pakistani Taliban – TTP – fighters including key commanders were freed in various Prison breaks in Afghanistan during recent advances of Taliban especially from Bagram Prison & Pul-e-Charkhi Prison. Fate of Daesh IS-K prisoners probably be decided by Taliban’s courts. pic.twitter.com/0OHoet2eVw
— Saleem Mehsud (@SaleemMehsud) August 15, 2021
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley noted Sunday in a call with senators that instead of the original estimate] that terrorist groups could use Afghanistan as a base to rebuild within the next two years, the new timeline could be sooner.
“Two takeaways for me,” a source who was on the call told Axios. “We’re gonna leave tens of thousands of people behind … and the timeline in terms of threats has accelerated.”
America entered Afghanistan 20 years ago because it was a haven for terrorists.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday sought to downplay speculation that history could repeat itself, according to The Guardian.
“We have tremendously more capacity now than we had before 9/11. We are going to retain in the region the over-the-horizon capacity to see and deal with any re-emergence of a terrorist threat,” Blinken told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
However, some worry that the potential for terrorism is worse now than ever before.
“A Taliban-led Afghanistan that provides tech-savvy global terrorists safe haven to remotely recruit new followers is a different level of security threat than it was previously,” security expert Barry Pavel wrote for the Atlantic Council.
He cautioned that “a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan — which could be even more dangerous than it was in the 1990s, and in particular on September 11, 2001.”
In July, CNN reported that the prison at Bagram field had a couple of hundred criminals with the rest of the thousands of inmates being terrorists.
#Afghanistan Senior US official tells @cbsnews Bagram has fallen w/prisoners released. NOTE: Historically these prison releases have been catastrophic, strengthening al Qaeda + associated groups + touted in propaganda as major victories @CBSDavidMartin
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) August 15, 2021
Thousands of ISIS terrorists were just released by the Taliban at captured Bagram Air Base prison. Someone tell Jill Biden so she can tell Joe.
— Bill O’Reilly (@BillOReilly) August 15, 2021
According to CNN, an Afghan security official said some “big names” from al-Qaida and the Taliban were housed there.
“We have the ability to hold prisoners, we have enough troops to secure Bagram Air Base. We are not worried about the care of prisoners,” an Afghan defense ministry spokesperson said at the time.
Although the Taliban have said they seek to assume control of the nation peacefully, they have been accused of massacring commandos who surrendered last month to Taliban forces.
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