Source: NY Times
Al Qaeda could rebuild inside Afghanistan in one to two years, top intelligence officials said Tuesday, noting that some members of the terrorist group had already returned to the country.
Earlier in the year, top Pentagon officials said Al Qaeda could reconstitute in two years, then told lawmakers after the fall of the Afghanistan government they were revising that timeline.
The new timeline is not a drastic shift, but reflects the reality that the Taliban have a limited ability to control the borders of Afghanistan. While the Taliban have long fought the Islamic State affiliate, they are established allies of Al Qaeda. Though the Taliban pledged in the February 2020 peace agreement with the United States not to let Afghanistan be used by terrorist groups, analysts have said such promises ring hollow.
The current assessment probably conservatively is one to two years for Al Qaeda to build some capability to at least threaten the homeland, Lt. Gen. Scott D. Berrier, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency said Tuesday at the annual Intelligence and National Security Summit.