The UK will become a target for terrorism attacks now that the Taliban rule Afghanistan, security experts warn.
Osama bin Laden plotted al Qaeda’s devastating 9/11 attacks while the terrorist group used ‘ungoverned spaces’ in Afghan deserts and mountains to train.
The Taliban, which now has control of Afghanistan’s military equipment and weaponry, allowed al Qaeda to stay in the country as guests before and after the 2001 attacks.
Now several different intelligence pundits fear the country will become a safe haven for the terror group once again.
A former British military commander who served in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp, told The Mirror: ‘There is the possibility of a 9/11 style spectacular, on government buildings, sports grounds, 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.’
Similar warnings were echoed by Ahmad Masood – a Sandhurst-educated commander for the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan.
He said the Taliban’s recent victory is not just a problem for Afghans that the West can ignore.
‘Plots against democracies will be hatched here once again,’ he said from his hideout in the mountains.
But many are also worried about the ‘psychological effect’ the Taliban takeover will have on jihadists already in the UK.
Colonel Richard Kemp said: ‘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.’
The US and its allies drove the Taliban out of Afghanistan in 2001 – after it spent its five years in power enforcing harsh Sharia law.
Since this, al-Qaeda has had no base to train and plot from and the West has not suffered terrorist attacks on a scale even similar to that of 9/11.
If the Taliban offer Afghanistan to jihadists again, it will be the first time radical Islamic extremists could have a ‘headquarters’ since before 9/11.
The Taliban has already released thousands of terrorists from Afghan prisons who are expected to try and join jihad movements.
Speaking directly to those in the West, Mr Masood said: ‘There is still much you can do to aid the cause of freedom – you are our only remaining hope.’
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