FBI says Taliban takeover in Afghanistan inspiring Americans virtually

·2 min read

The FBI believes the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is pushing Americans toward acts of violence.

Charles Spencer, the FBI’s assistant director of the International Operations Division, said his officers witnessed an increased amount of chatter on social media and online from people who haven’t traveled to the Middle East but have been influenced by the Taliban.

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“There’s a lot of talk about it, and I think that’s the first thing you see. Where there’s talk, there’s more interest,” Spencer said at the Soufan Center’s Global Security Forum in Doha, according to Defense One.

“That’s where people who are people on the fringes, [who are] potentially not mentally stable, [and] not even affiliated with them — I think that’s where they see this rallying cry and their opportunity,” he continued. “Now, it’s 'time to buy a gun, run people over with a car,’ do whatever they’re going to do.”

Spencer noted that al Qaeda, which has a long-standing relationship with the Taliban, is not equipped to launch large-scale attacks against the continental United States at this time, though it could soon be capable of attacking U.S. personnel or facilities in the region.

“It’s much easier to execute than it would be going across the Atlantic ... but I definitely think that within a short period of time, a year or less, maybe years, they could easily probably project that kind of attack,” he said.

The U.S. and other Western countries are waiting to see whether the Taliban will offer a safe haven for various terrorist organizations, such as al Qaeda and ISIS-K. The U.S. has warned that international recognition of the Taliban's government is contingent upon their behavior.

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“It’s a real possibility that in the not-too-distant future, six, 12, 18, 24, 36 months, that kind of time frame, for reconstitution of al Qaeda or ISIS, and it’s our job now, you know, under different conditions, but it’s our job to continue to protect the American citizens against attacks from Afghanistan,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a Capitol Hill hearing last month.

Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Deputy CIA Director David Cohen presented similar timelines.

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Tags: News, FBI, Taliban, Afghanistan, Domestic Terrorism

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: FBI says Taliban takeover in Afghanistan inspiring Americans virtually

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