Europe

‘Rise of Al-Qaeda’ UK faces ‘immediate’ terror threat after Taliban uprising warns expert

Afghanistan: Former refugee says give Taliban ‘a chance’

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Amid the chaotic withdrawal of British and US troops from Afghanistan, intelligence and security experts fear the country will once again become a breading ground for terrorism. Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, has warned there is a “possibility’ of terrorists targeting the UK.

He told the Mirror: “There is the possibility of a 9-11 style spectacular, on Government buildings, sports grounds, and major targets.

“If they cannot get the US, the UK remains a large target.

“Freedom in Afghanistan, as we have seen with 9-11, will give them time and help to plan such an attack.”

After announcing the US would withdraw from the country, the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in a short number of weeks.

On Sunday, they completed their conquest of the country by capturing the capital of Kabul.

Colonel Kemp stressed there is a possibility of attack from terrorists currently in the UK who may feel inspired by the events witnessed in the last few weeks.

He warned: “We face the danger of an attack right now from jihadists already here who are inspired by what they have witnessed of the Taliban victory in Afghanistan.

“This is happening right now – radicalised people are seeing this story unfold and being inspired by it.

“They are celebrating the rise of al-Qaeda once again and the threat from these people is immediate.”

Since the Taliban’s takeover, a small resistance has cropped up in Afghanistan against the militants.

Led by Ahmad Masood, commander of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, the rebels are holed up in the Panjshir Valley just Northeast of Kabul.

He warned the country could soon become “ground zero of radical Islamist terrorism”, adding: “Plots against democracies will be hatched here once again.”

The comments come as the Taliban seized a massive war chest of US equipment left during their hasty retreat.

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The militants reportedly now have access to equipment including planes, Humvees and firearms.

Experts fear the weapons could eventually make their way into the hands of other militant groups such as Islamic State or al-Qaeda.

Colonel Kemp added in the two decades of fighting the West, the terror group has become stronger.

“They have been close comrades for some time and have similar doctrines, religious beliefs,” he said.

“This could very well mean a far greater threat from al-Qaeda Mark II, a bigger danger to British citizens.”

He added: “We could face a worse terror threat than even at the height of the ISIS campaign as they are emboldened.”

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