Sep 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

FBI director: Afghanistan withdrawal could provide "safe haven" for terrorist groups

FBI Director Christopher Wray

FBI director Christopher Wray speaking at a House briefing on Tuesday. Photographer: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

FBI director Christopher Wray said on Wednesday that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could lead to the region becoming "a safe haven" for terrorist groups again.

What he's saying: "We are, of course, concerned that there will be an opportunity for a safe haven to be re-created there, which is certainly something we’ve seen in the past," Wray said during a House Homeland Security Committee briefing.

  • "We are also concerned that the events that the events there could serve as a catalyst or inspiration for terrorists," Wray added.
  • "Most importantly we [are] concerned that foreign terrorist organizations will be able to reconstitute, plot, inspire in a space that is much harder for us to collect intelligence and operate against than was the case previously," Wray added.

Driving the news: The Biden administration has said it can still gather intelligence and conduct strikes in Afghanistan with an "over-the-horizon" strategy.

Go deeper