“The Taliban taking over Afghanistan is pretty much the same Taliban that controlled Afghanistan on 9/11,” Panetta announced through the taping of “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren.” “It's clear to me that they're going to continue to support Al-Qaeda, and I think they will plan additional attacks on our country, as well as elsewhere.”
The Taliban dominated Afghanistan when Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda launched the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States in New York City and Washington, D.C., when 20 radical Islamic terrorists hijacked and crashed passenger planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center as well as crashing a passenger plane into the Pentagon.
A fourth plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers confronted the hijackers off as they went for another target, killing all on board. Both towers in New York collapsed, murdering over 2,700 people including over 300 police, firefighters, and other first responders.
U.S. forces went into Afghanistan to find and kill Bin Laden, fighting the Taliban back and taking over the nation. Bin Laden was eventually discovered and killed by the U.S. Navy Seals in Pakistan in 2011, and a U.S.-backed government was set up in Afghanistan.
President Donald Trump originally negotiated a departure from the nation after 20 years based on the situation on the ground, though President Joe Biden extended the May deadline to Aug. 31, rapidly pulling the 2,500 troops in the nation out.
In the closing 10 days, the Taliban mounted a major offensive and reclaimed the power of the nation after taking the capital city of Kabul Aug. 14, causing a chaotic mass exodus of Americans, third country nationals, and Afghan refugees.
While over 120,000 evacuated the nation, several hundred Americans and thousands of others remain there with the Taliban in control. Panetta announced that the initial mission, to get Bin Laden, succeeded, though he is concerned regarding the future under the Taliban.
“We were successful at making sure that the United States did not suffer another 9/11 attack,” he stated. “We were able to go after bin Laden and get someone who was in charge of the attack on our country and send a message to the world that nobody attacks us and gets away with it.”
He announced that he is concerned that the Taliban will continue to allow terrorist organizations to have a “safe haven” in the nation, where they could eventually mount another 9/11-style attack on the U.S.
“Those actions and the other actions that are being taken to shut down protests and really inhibit women's rights there, that this is a Taliban that will indeed continue to provide a safe haven for terrorists, and that spells trouble for the United States,” he said.