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Pentagon Chief: al-Qaida May Seek Comeback In Afghanistan

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US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, and Qatari Defense Minister Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, right, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. (Olivier Douliery/Pool Photo via AP)

(AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the al-Qaida extremist group that used Afghanistan as a staging base to attack United States 20 years ago may attempt to regenerate there following an American withdrawal that has left the Taliban in power.

“That’s the nature of the organization,” he told a small group of reporters Thursday in Kuwait City at the conclusion of a four-day tour of Persian Gulf states. He said the United States is prepared to prevent an al-Qaida comeback that would threaten the United States.

 

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