Terrorist groups within Afghanistan are still about a year away from being able to attack targets in western countries, but remain a significant concern for U.S. military planners, intelligence officials told lawmakers on Tuesday.
Last fall, Defense Department officials said that groups like al-Qaida and Islamic State Khorasan Province (known as ISIS-K) could strike at the United States within six months if left unchecked by military forces, a timeline that alarmed numerous lawmakers.
But this week, Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that his agency believes both groups are still a year away from that kind of disruptive capability.
“I’m more concerned about ISIS-K in Afghanistan, and the fact that they have had some successful and catastrophic attacks within Afghanistan,” Berrier said. “That does not portend well for the future.
“Al Qaida has had some problems with reconstituting leadership, and to
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