One of the documents allegedly leaked on his Discord channel by Airman First Class Jack Teixeira was a Classified assessment of Islamist terrorist activity in Afghanistan.
According to a Washington Post review of the document, it concluded that less than two years after President Biden withdrew U.S. personnel from Afghanistan, the country has become a significant coordination site for the Islamic State as the terrorist group plans attacks across Europe and Asia, and conducts “aspirational plotting” against the United States, according to a classified Pentagon assessment that portrays the threat as a growing security concern.
The attack planning, detailed in U.S. intelligence findings leaked on the Discord messaging platform and obtained by The Washington Post, reveal specific efforts to target embassies, churches, business centers and the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, which drew more than 2 million spectators last summer in Qatar. Pentagon officials were aware in December of nine such plots coordinated by ISIS leaders in Afghanistan, and the number rose to 15 by February, says the assessment, which has not been disclosed previously.
“ISIS has been developing a cost-effective model for external operations that relies on resources from outside Afghanistan, operatives in target countries, and extensive facilitation networks,” says the assessment, which is labeled top-secret and bears the logos of several Defense Department organizations. “The model will likely enable ISIS to overcome obstacles — such as competent security services — and reduce some plot timelines, minimizing disruption opportunities.”
The Washington Post also reported other reports in the same documents trove reveal persistent efforts by the Islamic State in other parts of the world to obtain expertise for creating chemical weapons and operating drone aircraft, and a plot in which the group’s supporters would kidnap Iraqi diplomats in Belgium or France in a bid to secure the release of 4,000 imprisoned militants.
In one of those “No Sh*t” observations for which the Washington Post is notorious (at least among conservatives) the paper observed that, “The documents will almost certainly be used as a political cudgel by congressional Republicans and others still seething about the Biden administration’s chaotic management of the U.S. exit from Afghanistan in August 2021.”
It would be politically convenient to limit blame for the reestablishment of Afghanistan as an Islamist terrorist center to Biden’s chaotic withdrawal, but that was just the final chapter in an operation beset by chaos and incompetence almost from the start.
Neither George W. Bush, nor Obama, nor Trump, nor Biden – and a long list of their generals except for Mike Flynn – understood the most important element of the war – defeating the ideology of Islamic Supremacy or Sharia Supremacy.
It was clear we were going to lose the war in Afghanistan, (as I and many others thought), as soon as George W. Bush started talking about “Islam is a religion of peace” and his generals gave the Afghans the job of blocking Osama bin Laden from escaping from his mountain redoubt into Islamist Pakistan.
And it was clear the war, and the lives of our brave troops, were being given away as soon as Obama, Trump and Biden started talking about a date certain for an American withdrawal without defining what an American victory would look like.
It was clear their COIN strategy* wasn’t going to work because they were utterly clueless about what they were fighting for – which should have been to defeat the ideology of Sharia Supremacy – rather than to hold some Godforsaken territory in Afghanistan.
This left the ideology which motivated the Taliban and Islamic Supremacists around the world unchallenged. The hate preachers remained free to preach hate of the West and America, the recruiters for ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist terror organizations remained largely free to recruit and most importantly their recruiting pitch remained unchallenged, or at least unchallenged with any degree of competence and vigor.
Islamic or Sharia Supremacy is a fully formed worldview and to defeat it an alternative worldview must be proposed and effectively propagandized, the secular Islam of successful Muslim majority states being just one of several obvious alternatives.
But instead of relentlessly pushing an alternative to Sharia Supremacy successive American presidents and their generals apparently chose bribery of local Afghan tribal leaders and warlords as the preferred alternative – the result was an all-to-predictable failure.
The Washington Post reporting on the leaked document concluded with several paragraphs of spin that there was some good news or success to be found in the fact that the al-Qaeda organization once headed by Osama bin Laden is all but destroyed.
However, that is not a victory, but proof of failure in that the ideology that motivated al-Qaeda remains not just intact, but unconfronted. And with its safe haven reestablished in Afghanistan it will continue to motivate new generations of Muslims to impose Sharia and the “peace” of the Ummah, or worldwide reign of Islam on the rest of us.
*Our COIN strategy (counterinsurgency strategy) in Afghanistan denied the necessity of defeating Sharia Supremacy ideology in favor of “winning hearts and minds” through bribery and infrastructure projects, rather than ideological warfare against Islamism.
George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie's ConservativeHQ.com and is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns. A member of American MENSA, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle, as Director of Policy and Communication for former Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12) then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, and as spokesman for retired Rep. Mac Thornberry former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR)
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken
CIA Director William J. Burns
ISIS in Afghanistan