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Katko Discusses Killing of al Qaeda Leader on The Fox News Rundown Podcast

August 15, 2022

 Katko Discusses Killing of al Qaeda Leader on The Fox News Rundown Podcast

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. John Katko, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, joined the Fox News “Rundown” podcast to discuss the terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan one year after President Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal.

Listen to his full interview here.

STILL SEEING IMPACTS OF BIDEN’S FAILED AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL: “President Biden said ‘look, let’s put this thing in perspective what interest we have in Afghanistan at this point, with al Qaeda gone,’ are you kidding me? So now he’s saying the reason they’re pulled out is because al Qaeda wasn’t there anymore. And of course, a year later, we know al Qaeda is not only there, the head of al Qaeda is living in plain sight in downtown Kabul. That is exactly the concerns we had with withdrawing from Afghanistan…that Afghanistan once again, can become a breeding ground for international terror training and activities.”

THREAT OF TERRORIST NETWORKS IN AFGHANISTAN: “Well, when you have the head of your terror network in Afghanistan, I don’t think [Kirby] can possibly say [there is a small number of al Qaeda in Afghanistan] with a straight face. I just completely disagree with that…one of the top leaders in Afghanistan is the leader of the Haqqani network. The Haqqani network is a terror group that’s affiliated with al Qaeda and is involved in terrorist activities themselves. The head of the Haqqani network is also the interior minister in Afghanistan, and the Haqqani network is the ones that are working with al Qaeda within Afghanistan.”

BIDEN’S FOREIGN POLICIES PROJECT WEAKNESS: “The manner in which Biden pulled out made us much less safe and made us look much weaker. I would dare say that Russia was looking at how Biden handled Afghanistan and felt no impediments to him going into Ukraine because he saw the weakness that we projected with respect to Afghanistan. And we left behind and that 13 soldiers that were killed because of the chaos that they created.”

WHAT’S NEXT IN AFGHANISTAN: “I’ll credit the Biden administration—they sent a message, a relatively strong one, when they took him out in Afghanistan, but we are not there anymore. And they will laugh at us if we say we’re going to come back and if you don’t cut it out. They’re not going to. My biggest concern is how do we recognize the danger that Afghanistan is becoming yet again? And how are we going to be able to try and monitor the activity within Afghanistan so far? It’s getting back to what we were talking about earlier, the network isn’t there. We’ve got to figure out ways to try and strengthen that network, if at all possible, because we cannot allow Afghanistan to become a breeding ground for terrorism again, like it did before 9/11.”