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ISIS is back and the US doesn’t dare ignore it

OpinionISIS is back and the US doesn’t dare ignore it

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History tends to repeat itself, especially as it relates to President Joe Biden. His ideologically rigid open-border policies have laid us wide open to the growing threat of terror abroad. 
 
Despite Biden calling his disastrous and shameful withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 an “extraordinary success,” radical Islamic terrorists somehow didn’t get the message.  
 
It’s been nearly three years since Biden announced his plans to unconditionally withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan. In 2011, then-President Barack Obama announced a similar end to our war efforts in Iraq and withdrew our troops.  

ISIS-K ATTACK IN MOSCOW HIGHLIGHTS GROWING TERROR THREAT FROM AFGHANISTAN

But radical jihadists love a power vacuum, and what followed is a similar pattern to what we’re seeing unfold in Afghanistan. Our country finds itself with an almost identical threat we faced from ISIS in 2014. 

Islamic State militant holds ISIS flag in a desert setting

A masked Islamic State soldier poses holding the ISIS flag in 2015. A New York City man and his wife have pleaded guilty to attempting to provide the terror group with material support, the Justice Department said. (Pictures from History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Within three years, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) filled the power vacuum left behind by the U.S. and established a caliphate the size of Indiana to terrorize the region and inspire attacks across Europe and the U.S. 

In 2015, two Islamic extremists murdered 14 people in San Bernadino, California and the attack was hailed by ISIS. Six months later, a terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS killed 49 in the Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando. We witnessed a wave of Islamic terrorist attacks across Europe.  
 
Now similar terrorist attacks and plans are being exported from ISIS-K in Afghanistan to carry out against the West.  
 
In March, German officials arrested two Afghans linked to ISIS-K for plotting an attack against Sweden’s parliament. In December, Austrian officials arrested three terrorists with ties to ISIS-K for plotting attacks on Christian sites during Christmas Eve.  

What happens in Afghanistan doesn’t stay in Afghanistan. This is a lesson that should have stayed with us after the September 11 attacks. And Biden should have learned this from his former boss’s lack of counter-terrorism planning following the withdrawal from Iraq.  
 
We cannot trust the Taliban to keep a lid on the rise of ISIS-K in Afghanistan. Just last year, terrorists took the lives of over 1,500 in neighboring Pakistan through various attacks and the region continues to grow more unstable.  
 
CENTCOM Commander General Michael Kurilla recently warned lawmakers ISIS could carry out an attack on the U.S. or Europe within six months with “little to no warning.”  

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Since Biden took office, over 300 illegal immigrants on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist have been apprehended attempting to cross our southern border. Less than 20 were found under Donald Trump’s presidency. That is a staggering difference.  

Italy Terror Suspect

Italian authorities released an image on May 30, 2023, displaying a self-portrait of a minor who was apprehended in northern Italy under suspicion of affiliating with the ISIS terrorist organization. The individual in question is believed to have been plotting a destructive assault within their local vicinity. (Italian Police via AP, HO)

The Biden administration’s refusal to take our border security seriously is making us increasingly vulnerable to a terrorist attack and there is little we can do to stem exporting of terror out of Afghanistan.  
 
Unlike Iraq where we could deploy assets from nearby bases in the Middle East to take on ISIS, there is very little we can do to address the growing threat in Afghanistan. Our over-the-horizon capabilities, like using drones to take out terrorist leadership, can only do so much.  
 
There are still Afghan freedom fighters who were reliable allies during our counter-insurgency efforts and are no friends to ISIS or the Taliban. Perhaps they can be supplied through sophisticated channels. More assets in Asia, rather than Europe, would certainly help. Israel’s war against Hamas is ample evidence of the threat radical jihadist movements still pose. 

In 2015, two Islamic extremists murdered 14 people in San Bernadino, California and the attack was hailed by ISIS. Six months later a terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS killed 49 in the Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando. We witnessed a wave of Islamic terrorist attacks across Europe.  

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But Biden has left us with little options and has America on defense. Above all, in the short term, the border must be secured by reinstating Trump-era policies like Title 42. 
 
When Donald Trump became president he quickly addressed the ISIS threat and the caliphate was destroyed under his leadership. It’s going to take his clear-eyed approach to radical Islamic extremism and a real commitment to secure the border to fix this issue. Biden’s continual refusal to acknowledge the mistakes he made has only emboldened global terrorism – and thanks to his open-borders ideology, we are now even less safe at home. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM REP. MICHAEL WALTZ

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