ISIS-Khorasan, the Islamic State branch based in Afghanistan, is working to strengthen its capabilities and could be able to conduct an international attack within six months to a year, according to a Department of Defense official.
Dr. Colin H. Kahl, the undersecretary of defense for policy, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the terror group could "generate that capability in somewhere between six or 12 months, according to current assessments by the intelligence committee."
Al Qaeda's timeline for when they could be able to launch an external attack is about twice as long, Kahl explained.
"And for al Qaeda, it would take a year or two to reconstitute that capability," he said. "We have to remain vigilant against that possibility.”
He noted that intelligence officials are "fairly certain that they have the intention" to go down this path.
Kahl is the latest intelligence or military official to provide insights about the possible emergence of Afghan terror threats following both the Taliban's ascension to power and the U.S. military's withdrawal from the country. Many of these assessments reveal a timeline operating within about a year.
“It’s a real possibility that in the not too distant future, 6, 23, 28, 24, 36 months, that kind of time frame, for reconstitution of al Qaeda or ISIS,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a hearing on Capitol Hill last month. This is similar to the timelines offered by Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Deputy CIA Director David Cohen, which were presented weeks earlier.
Despite the supposed intentions of the terror organizations, Kahl explained that the risk of an attack on U.S. soil “is at its lowest point since Sept. 11, 2001.″
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Original Author: Mike Brest