UK defense minister fears al-Qaeda resurgence as Taliban takes control of Afghanistan
Britain’s defense minister said on Friday he was worried that Afghanistan was spiraling towards a failed state that could become a breeding ground for militants such as al-Qaeda which would probably come back.
“I’m absolutely worried that failed states are breeding grounds for those types of people,” Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky when asked about Afghanistan.
“Al-Qaeda will probably come back.”
Wallace said that Afghanistan’s second biggest city of Kandahar and the town of Lashkar Gah was “pretty much now in the hands of the Taliban.”
Afghanistan is tipping towards civil war and the West must understand that the Taliban is not a single entity but a title for a myriad of competing interests, Britain’s defense minister said on Friday.
“Britain found that out in the 1830s, that it is a country led by warlords and led by different provinces and tribes, and you end up, if you’re not very careful in a civil war, and I think we are heading towards a civil war,” Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told the BBC.
“The Taliban is not entirely a single entity, they break down underneath the title into all sorts of different interests,” Wallace said.
The speed of the Taliban advance has shocked the Afghan government and its Western allies who, led by the US, are withdrawing their forces.
The Taliban controlled most of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when it was ousted for harboring al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11 attacks on the US.