On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” White House NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby maintained that the Biden administration has said that al-Qaeda would return to Afghanistan after the U.S. withdrew its forces from the nation and “Even before we left, they were starting to move back in,” but the fact that the U.S. has been able to take out al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri inside Afghanistan shows the effectiveness of American over-the horizon counterterrorism abilities.
After Kirby and co-host Brian Kilmeade got into a lengthy exchange over whether Afghanistan has become a safe haven for terrorism since the withdrawal of American forces in 2021 and the strike that took out Zawahiri, Kilmeade asked [relevant exchange begins around 8:50] how many terrorists are back in the nation.
Kirby responded, “We said that al-Qaeda would be back in Afghanistan. Even before we left, they were starting to move back in, Brian. And we’re watching it very closely. And the fact that we were able to execute that strike, the leader, by the way, not just some guy on a street corner, but the leader, tells you that our over-the-horizon counterterrorism capabilities are actually quite effective.”
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