All is not well in the Democratic Party.
While Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and centrists fight with the far-left over an upcoming $3.5 trillion spending package is grabbing headlines, but it’s the political hit on Sunday from former President Barack Obama’s administration that stung the White House the worst.
While the 44th president has remained largely silent, his former CIA director had some unkind words for Biden on Sunday. The man who briefed President George W. Bush on Sept. 11, 2001, and later President Barack Obama on the intelligence that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden said he’s convinced the Taliban will invite al-Qaida to rebuild in Afghanistan.
And Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has emboldened radical Islamic terrorists around the world.
“There is no doubt in my mind,” said Michael Morell, who twice served as acting CIA director under Bush and then Obama. “I believe that the Taliban will give safe haven to al-Qaida, and I believe it will be al-Qaida’s intention to again build its capability so that they can attack us here at home.”
Counterterrorism efforts fall into a pattern, Morell previously said, in which their capabilities can be easily degraded by a focused effort, but easily rebuilt when that focus fades. He pointed to the time in 2002 and 2003 when the U.S. shifted its focus to Iraq, which he said led to a resurgent al-Qaida prompting attacks in Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, and elsewhere.
“When our focus got shifted to Iraq al-Qaida started bouncing back,” Morell said.
He said that if al-Qaida establishes a safe haven in Afghanistan, it can be hard to develop the kind of tactical intelligence that makes it possible to take action against them. He said the U.S. will have to apply the lessons it learned over the last 20 years.
On Sunday, Morell warned that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaeda, had already moved back into Afghanistan.
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“We think so, which means that the Taliban is harboring Zawahiri today,” Morell said. “The Taliban is harboring al-Qaida today. And I think that’s a very important point.”
.@MichaelJMorell on keeping Al Qaeda threat at bay following Afghanistan withdrawal: “We have to figure out how we're going to collect two types of intelligence — how we're going to make sure that Al Qaeda is not rebuilding its capabilities and is planning on attacking us again.” pic.twitter.com/hA7JzJJbma
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) September 12, 2021
The Associated Press contributed to this article