Daily US Times: An ex-MI5 chief has said the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban opens up “operating space” for terrorist groups such as ISIS that will draw a psychological boost from the failure of western power.
Jonathan Evans said the ability to intervene in Afghanistan militarily again – though with special forces not in a “full sense” – had to be preserved and the British government should also look to speak to the Taliban where opportunities arose.s
Mr Evans said that there have been reports already of ISIS elements present in Afghanistan and if they get the opportunity to train and put down infrastructure then that will pose a threat to the west more widely.
The former MI5 chief’s comments came after a senior official of US government said it was “laser-focused” on the potential for a terrorist attack in Afghanistan by a group such as Islamic State Khorasan, also known as Isis-K, as UK and US forces continue to oversee an evacuation at Kabul airport.
Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser, said in a TV interview: “One of the contingencies we are very focused on, laser-focused on, is the potential for a terrorist attack by a group like Isis-K, which of course is a sworn enemy of the Taliban, so we will keep working to minimise the risks and maximise the number of people on planes.”
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Islamic State Khorasan remains active three years after its inception.