September 26, 2022

On Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” former Obama administration Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta made the reference to the killing of former al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Panetta suggested that Zawahiri’s presence in Kabul was evidence that Afghanistan had become a “safe haven for terrorists” a year after President Joe Biden’s ill-fated exit.

“[A]Another mission that came out of 9/11 was that we were going to make sure that Afghanistan would never again be taken over by the Taliban and become a safe haven for terrorism. Unfortunately, that’s what happened,” Panetta lamented.

“The Taliban are now in charge of Afghanistan,” he continued. “There is no doubt that they provide a safe haven for terrorists. The Haqqani, involved with the Taliban, are themselves terrorists. And the fact that Zawahiri, one of the top leaders of al-Qaeda, could just walk into Kabul, get an apartment in the middle of the capital. Not asking questions sends a real message that the Taliban will continue to provide a safe haven for terrorism. And the United States has a real responsibility to continue to be able to determine whether or not there are going to be threats against the United States or our allies coming from Afghanistan.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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