US President Joe Biden in a statement on 10th anniversary of raid that killed Osama bin Laden said that the United States will remain vigilant about the threat from terrorist groups that have metastasized around the world.
“As we bring to an end America’s longest war and draw down the last of our troops from Afghanistan, al Qaeda is greatly degraded there," Biden said. “But the United States will remain vigilant about the threat from terrorist groups that have metastasized around the world. We will continue to monitor and disrupt any threat to us that emerges from Afghanistan.”
He said that ten years ago, he joined President Obama and members of US national security team to "watch as our military delivered long-awaited justice to Osama bin Laden.”
“It is a moment I will never forget—the intelligence professionals who had painstakingly tracked him down; the clarity and conviction of President Obama in making the call; the courage and skill of our team on the ground,” he said.
“It had been almost ten years since our nation was attacked on 9/11 and we went to war in Afghanistan, pursuing al Qaeda and its leaders. We followed bin Laden to the gates of hell—and we got him. We kept the promise to all those who lost loved ones on 9/11: that we would never forget those we had lost, and that the United States will never waver in our commitment to prevent another attack on our homeland and to keep the American people safe,” he added.
Al-Qaeda not 'completely' uprooted in Afghanistan
The Afghan government says that the roots of the network are still alive in Afghanistan and the group still poses a threat to the country and the world and is collaborating with the Taliban.
But the Taliban has rejected any type of relations with al-Qaeda.
The US presence in Afghanistan over the last 20 years was due to the existence of al-Qaeda. Biden last month said the US has achieved its objectives in the Afghanistan war.
“Right now, al-Qaeda and Talib are not two different ideologic topics; they are beyond that as they have intermarried within their families,” NDS chief Ahmad Zia Saraj said last week.
The question that arises is how can al-Qaeda pose a threat to Afghanistan and the world while its leader was killed ten years back?
“Al-Qaeda was not owned by bin Laden,” said Atiqullah Amarkhil, a former military officer. “Al-Qaeda is still active in Afghanistan and anyone who says that we have eliminated al-Qaeda--they are lying.”
The Afghan government sees the Taliban’s ties with al-Qaeda as a key challenge in the way of the peace process.
“Even though the Taliban has agreed with the US to cut ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, al-Qaeda is still fighting among the Taliban,” said Rahmatullah Andar, spokesman for National Security Council.
Meanwhile, Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, said Saturday the often-fractured Afghan political leadership must unify in its peace talks with the Taliban or risk more bitter fighting as the US and NATO withdraws, AP reported.