lördag, augusti 21, 2021

MI5 varnar för terrorvår


Alltfler experter från europeiska säkerhetstjänster varnar för att Europa och USA kan förvänta sig en "het" terrorvår 

Taliban-Afghanistan kommer att erbjuda alla islamistiska terrorister en trygg bas och obegränsat med resurser.

Igår kom en varning från f d chefen från MI5, brittiska säkerhetstjänsten, en tung och mycket erfaren röst i branschen.


Ex-MI5 chief warns of 'increased threat' after Afghan collapse with Qaida getting 'operating space' and 'psychological' boost for terrorists - as he says West was 'too ambitious' trying to build new country

  • Former MI5 chief says Afghan chaos will mean an 'increased threat' from terror
  • Fallout from the collapse of the Afghanistan government after US troops pullout
  • Ben Wallace has warned the perceived 'victory' by Taliban will inspire terrorism

The West faces an 'increased threat' after the collapse of Afghanistan, the former head of MI5 warned today.

Lord Jonathan Evans said the success of the Taliban will give al Qaida 'more operating space' and a 'psychological' boost for other terrorists.

He also criticised the 'overambitious' goals of the Afghanistan campaign, saying the 'significant failure' might have been avoided if the focus was on keeping extremism in check. 

The stark assessment came as the UK and US scramble to evacuate citizens and local allies from Kabul, with a blame game in full swing over the humiliating outcome.

Lord Evans told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I think there are two problems – I think there is more operating space more likely to be available to groups like al Qaida, and there have been reports of Islamic State elements present in Afghanistan.

'If they get the opportunity to put down infrastructure to train and to operate then that will pose a threat to the West more widely.

'There's also the psychological effect of the inspiration that some people will draw from the failure of Western power in Afghanistan.

'That may well create a certain amount of energy in the wider networks that are still in existence in Britain and across the West.

'So, I think, in practical terms and in terms of ungoverned space, but also in psychological terms, it probably does mean an increase in threat over the coming months and years.'

Lord Jonathan Evans said the success of the Taliban will give al Qaida 'more operating space' and a 'psychological' boost for other terrorists

Lord Jonathan Evans said the success of the Taliban will give al Qaida 'more operating space' and a 'psychological' boost for other terrorists

The peer said the West had been 'overambitious' in trying to rebuild Afghanistan rather than focusing on quelling the terror threat. 

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'My own personal view is that we should have focused very narrowly on counter-terrorism objectives in regard to Afghanistan.

'I think it was very worthy and rather ambitious to think we could reshape the whole country, whereas the reason we went in originally was for counter-terrorism reasons, and I think that might have been a more achievable task.'

Lord Evans said the 'capability and perseverance' needed to try and rebuild the nation was 'beyond us' due to either political or resource reasons.

He added: 'It might have been the case that the Taliban were in power, it might have been possible to have maintained a smaller level of merely counter-terrorism capability in the region so that we had the capacity to intervene.

'I think right from the beginning there was a noble ambition that we would have been able to reshape the politics of that region and I think, in retrospect, that was overambitious.

'It would have been a great thing to have achieved but we raised expectations that we were not able to follow through on and the overall effect of that has been a significant failure and setback for us.'

Theresa May was among the senior MPs warning during a Commons debate this week that Afghanistan could again become a 'breeding ground for terrorism' - the reason for the original invasion in 2001. 

Yesterday Ben Wallace gave a similar warnings, saying the meltdown will 'inspire' terrorists and be an 'opportunity' for al Qaida.

The Defence Secretary said the Taliban taking power will be seen as a 'victory' by extremists around the world.

And he cautioned that the West will now have to 'tool up' to counter a potential resurgence from the group founded by Osama bin Laden. 

Ben Wallace said yesterday that the Taliban taking power will be seen as a 'victory' by extremists around the world

'Around the world Islamists will see what they will view as a victory. That will inspire other terrorists,' Mr Wallace told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. 

Mr Wallace said 'cyber geography' was now more important that territory, as extremists organise online. He also insisted he hoped that the Taliban would be unwilling to host terrorist groups as they try to rebuild links with the rest of the world.

But he said: 'I don't think anyone's denied that al Qaida is potentially going to look on this as an opportunity.

'We will have to, obviously, gear up, tool up; we already have capabilities to deal with some of that.'

Thousands of British nationals and Afghan allies have been trying to get out of the country after the government dramatically collapsed and the Taliban took charge.

There have been grim scenes of women pleading to be let through the gates at the airport, and even reports of babies being passed over the railings by mothers. 

UK ambassador Laurie Bristow, who has stayed in Kabul to process applications, has warned that there could only be 'days' left to evacuate people, with the extremists now controlling all access points.

Around 10,000 Afghan staff who helped the Western forces over the past year are now expected to come to the UK.