We’ve just handed back Afghanistan to the Taliban. Haqqani terror network boss and al-Qaeda ally Sirajuddin Haqqani has taken control of the country’s security forces. On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos team up to discuss the real threat on the anniversary … domestic terrorism:
“We no longer have troops in Afghanistan, but we have other resources to learn information on the ground and we certainly use those resources to the best of our abilities,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tells @ABC News’ @GStephanopoulos. https://t.co/bEcQxDG2l3 pic.twitter.com/jqpdCAocX3
— ABC News (@ABC) September 10, 2021
But the greatest threat to the U.S. homeland is currently domestic terrorism, according to Mayorkas.
“Individuals who are prone to violence by reason of an ideology of hate or false narratives that we see on social media or other online platforms,” he said. “I think it’s a sad thing to see hate emerge, as we have observed it emerge over the last several years.”
With the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks approaching, Mayorkas said the government is not aware of any “specific credible threats targeting the United States” on the somber date.
Is there an ongoing threat from political terrorism in the US? Of course there is; we saw plenty of it last year. It’s still ongoing in places like Portland, where Antifa routinely conducts violence and intimidation, and where DHS is nowhere to be found. We saw a paroxysm of it at the Capitol on January 6 too, which is clearly where Stephanopoulos and Mayorkas want to direct attention — as long as it’s away from the absolute debacle in Afghanistan.
Mayorkas does his best Chip Diller in that regard. All is well!
The United States has “many means” of gathering intelligence in Afghanistan despite not having boots on the ground, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday.
“We no longer have troops in Afghanistan, but we have other resources to learn information on the ground and we certainly use those resources to the best of our abilities,” Mayorkas told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview on “Good Morning America.”
“We are quite creative and quite capable of learning information from coast-to-coast and all over the world,” he added.
Do we? Even while we were still in Kabul (although in the middle of a disgraceful bug-out), we couldn’t even use our own intelligence to pull out all of the Americans, legal permanent residents, and Afghan allies. We directed a drone strike at what might have been an ISIS-K suicide bombing attack, but the Pentagon apparently can’t confirm it. Now that we have pulled out completely and betrayed everyone who worked with us, we will shortly become nearly completely blind to the terror threats that will emerge in Afghanistan. There is a reason why we left 900 or so troops in Syria to deal with terror networks there — we need reliable, on-the-ground intelligence to conduct “over the horizon” counterterrorism operations.
Three months ago, one could make the argument that domestic terrorism was a higher threat than foreign-directed terrorism, thanks in large part to twenty years of keeping a close eye on Afghanistan. Now that we’ve taken our eye off that ball, the bigger long-term threat will return to the status quo ante that existed on this date twenty years ago. Mayorkas and Stephanopoulos may distract from that now, but it will almost certainly become readily apparent over the next few months … and we will not be in position to do much except play defense, just the same as on 9/11.