Pfluger & Katko Raise Alarm of Increased Terrorist Threats from Taliban-Appointed Leader
As Ranking Member of the Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee, I, along with Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, warned of the serious threats to our homeland security posed by the Taliban’s recently announced extremist cabinet appointees, including Sirajuddin Haqqani as acting interior minister in Afghanistan.
As a leader of the Haqqani Network, a U.S. Government-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, Haqqani has known ties to terrorism, including al Qaeda operatives and suicide bombings. Now, he’s in control of the Taliban regime’s interior ministry, leading to serious concerns around his ability to control who enters and leaves Afghanistan, as well as the threat posed by Afghanistan becoming a terrorist safe haven just before the 20th anniversary of September 11th.
In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Katko and I wrote, “With American citizens and our Afghan allies awaiting permission from the Taliban to leave the country on chartered flights—a previously unthinkable scenario that is wholly unacceptable to the American People—we are urgently concerned about the Taliban’s naming of one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorist operatives, Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of a terrorist group known as the Haqqani Network, as the country’s acting interior minister.”
We continued, “With interior ministers often holding authorities related to policies governing security, border enforcement, and transportation, we are concerned that the safety of American citizens may now be directly in the hands of a known terrorist operative. We are concerned that this newfound power in the hands of the Haqqani Network may further exacerbate circumstances leading to Afghanistan becoming a terrorist safe haven, accelerating external plotting against the United States emanating from Afghanistan.”
Read the full letter here.