THE West is facing the biggest ever threat of a 9/11-style terror attack, the former commander of UK forces in Afghanistan has Warned.
Colonel Richard Kemp told The Sun Online the hellish new regime of “hardened terrorists” means Afghanistan will be a springboard for global jihadists, with the threat of weapons of mass destruction a terrifying possibility.
When the Taliban previously ruled Afghanistan, they provided Al-Qaeda with training camps from which they planned 9/11.
After they swept back to power in a lightning victory that shocked the world, the Taliban gave assurances they wouldn’t back terrorists as they had done in the past.
But Col. Kemp said judging by the make-up of their government, the Taliban’s promises are worthless.
“This government is made up of the Taliban old guard who allowed Al-Qaeda to plan the attacks on 9/11 and they won’t hesitate to make Afghanistan a hub for international jihadists,” said Col. Kemp.
“One of them was the leader of a suicide bomb network, another one, the Prime Minister is on the UN sanctions list, the interior minister Haqqani is on the FBI’s most wanted list and it goes on.
“These are hardened, active terrorists – they are not reformed people.
“On that basis, I think we’re now entering a period that will see the greatest threat level from terrorism that we’ve ever known, greater even than before 2001.”
He described Afghanistan as now “basically a terrorist state which is a quantum difference between isolated jihadist groups around the world”.
Already, the American government has expressed concerns about the all-male Taliban government which contains members linked attacks on US – and UK – troops.
Col. Kemp said the prospect of a 9/11 – style terrorist spectacular, even using weapons of mass destruction, is a prospect that needs to be taken seriously.
“Jihadists everywhere are desperate to use weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons,” he said.
“They will also concentrate on spectacular attacks, involving aircraft as we saw in 9/11, though not necessarily in the same way as 9/11, but it remains the focus of their attention.
“Anything where they can attract the most attention, that’s where they will try to attack. Major events like football matches, parades, where’s there’s lots of cameras and there’s the potential for mass killing.”
Prominent Al-Qaeda figures have already begun reappearing in the country.
Amin ul-Haq, who was also responsible for guarding Osama bin Laden and supplying arms, was filmed returning to his hometown in the Nangahar province of Afghanistan.
As well as Al-Qaeda making a return, Afghanistan is also home to a branch of the Islamic State, which has been active in planning attacks on the west from the country.
The country is now the epicentre of global jihadi activity said Col. Kemp.
“The remarkable success of the Taliban has been greatest victory for jihadists in modern times and it is an inspiration for jihadists everywhere,” he said.
“They’ve been celebrating it and it will inspire them to attack and invigorate them. It will allow them to attract greater funding and increase their recruitment.
“Around the world we will see insurgent groups that will want to take over countries inspired by the success of the Taliban.
“The terrorists in Afghanistan know that the western appetite for intervention no longer exists so they will be able to act more boldly will less fear of retaliation from the West.”