A UK terror warning has been sent after a security intelligence expert said groups could use the escalating crisis in Afghanistan as a launchpad for devastating attacks against Europe and the US.
The terrifying explosion at Kabul airport on Thursday night killed 13 US troops and at least 79 Afghans at a time when thousands of people were nervously waiting to see if they could flee the country and escape the clutches of the Taliban. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab later confirmed among the fatalities were two UK nationals and the teenage child of a UK national. The attack was claimed by ISIS Militants. The terror group’s Afghan affiliate, ISIS-Khorosan (ISIS-K), has become a fierce enemy of both the West and the Taliban.
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The Taliban insisted it “strongly” condemned the attack, but there are accelerating fears the group’s capture of Afghanistan could lead to the horrific resurgence of vastly dangerous terror groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Barbara Kelemen, associate and lead intelligence analyst for Asia at security intelligence firm Dragonfly believes the rapid development of terror groups including al-Qaeda could remain on Aghan soil to further improve their capabilities.
The security intelligence expert warned the terror group formed by Osama Bin Laden has continued to make clear it is targeting US and European interests – and may be nothing the Taliban can do to stop that.
Ms Kelemen believes the world will witness al-Qaeda targeting Western interests in several countries surrounding Afghanistan as well as in other parts of the world where there are ongoing insurgencies.
UK terror latest: An expert has sent a huge warning to Europe and the US (Image: GETTY)
When asked if the worrying terror escalation in Afghanistan could become the launchpad for attacks against the US and Europe, she told Express.co.uk: “We saw that happening in the past.
“The Taliban have probably tried to prevent it, but it’s not clear they will be able to do that.
“For a long time, al-Qaeda has said it is intent on targeting US and European interests.
“We will see this group attacking Western interests in countries surrounding Afghanistan, such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh or in other parts of the world where there are ongoing insurgencies.
UK terror latest: Taliban members are seen near Hamid Karzai International Airport (Image: GETTY)
Ms Kelemen believes the Taliban will allow al-Qaeda militants to remain in Afghanistan and “improve their capabilities”.
Responding to a question over whether there is an increasing threat of Afghanistan becoming a hotbed for harbouring and training terrorists, she told Express.co.uk: “Based on ideology and UN reports, we know the relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaeda remains close.
“It is likely the Taliban will allow these militants to stay in the country.
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UK terror warning: US President Joe Biden (Image: GETTY)
dominic raab afghanistan
UK terror latest: Dominic Raab described the attack at Kabul airport as ‘despicable’ (Image: GETTY)
“The question is to what extent will they control them and whether they will actually be able to enforce this.
“It is likely these militants will remain present there and improve their capabilities on the Afghan soil.
“I suspect the Taliban will try to moderate certain groups because of their own interests, but the question is whether they can do that.”
On Friday, Foreign Secretary Mr Raab said the two British nationals and child of a British national killed in the explosion at Kabul airport were murdered by “cowardly terrorists” and described the attack on Thursday as “despicable”.
He added the explosion “underlines the dangers facing those in Afghanistan and reinforces why we are doing all we can to get people out”.
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The Foreign Secretary said in a statement: “I was deeply saddened to learn that two British nationals and the child of another British national were killed by yesterday’s terror attack, with two more injured.