LONDON: The fall of the Western-backed Afghan government could inspire radicalized youth in countries such as Britain to conduct terror attacks, sources in the security services have said.
Security experts said it is likely that Afghanistan will see a Taliban government “of some sort” within the next six months, which would provide a rallying cry for extremists based in the West as they look for new inspiration following the fall of Daesh.
Security analysts have raised concerns that the power vacuum created by the resurgent Taliban could lead to young extremists surging to Afghanistan or opting to conduct terror attacks at home.
Ken McCallum, director-general of MI5 — Britain’s homeland security agency — said it is “likely” that terror groups in the UK will seek to benefit from a rising Taliban in Afghanistan to radicalize and inspire others.
“It must surely be likely that extremist groups of various sorts, including UK-based groupings who have no meaningful connection themselves to Afghanistan, will seek to portray this to potential people they’re trying to recruit or radicalize, as a victory for extremist Islam,” he added. “Extremists will seek to take propaganda advantage from the situation in Afghanistan.”
McCallum warned that the “inspired” effect from changing circumstances in Afghanistan poses “at least as much of a challenge” as the “directed” threat, which includes terror cells being ordered to conduct attacks.
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