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    03-Aug-2022

Republicans Accuse Biden of Lying over Qaeda in Afghanistan

 

Asharq Al-Awsat

 

The killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri in a CIA drone strike in Afghanistan raised questions from Republican representatives who are already upset with the US withdrawal from Kabul, which fell to the Taliban a year ago.
 
Joe Biden's announcement that the US had successfully killed the al-Qaeda leader was praised by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. However, Republican representatives shed lights on the issue of Al-Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul and on the close relationship that still links the Taliban movement to al-Qaeda.
 
 
US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that Al-Zawahiri may be dead in Afghanistan, but al-Qaeda is not gone.
 
 
“Contrary to what President Biden is saying tonight, our ability to combat growing terrorist threats in Afghanistan are on the margins. There are al-Qaeda training camps emerging in Afghanistan like before 9/11,” he said.
 
 
In a series of tweets, the US senator said the overall strategy of abandoning Afghanistan is going to come back to haunt America because Afghanistan is again going to be a safe heaven for terrorism.
 
 
He added that while America celebrates this operation, “we must understand that terrorist groups are getting stronger in Afghanistan under Taliban control, presenting a direct threat to the American homeland.”
 
 
Also, representative Michael McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said: “Our chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan opened the door for al-Qaeda to operate freely inside the country to conduct external operations against the United States and our allies again.”
 
 
He then accused the US president of lying to his people, adding that Al-Qaeda has not disappeared from Afghanistan as Biden claimed a year ago.
 
 
Representative Mike Waltz, a Florida Republican, criticized Biden’s decision to cede control of the country to the Taliban. “The good: we took out a horrible terrorist. The bad: al-Qaeda is back in Kabul––just as they were in 2001,” Waltz tweeted.
 

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