Ex-Acting CIA Director: Taliban Takeover ‘Absolutely Inspired Jihadists’

Ex-Acting CIA Director: Taliban Takeover 'Absolutely Inspired Jihadists' Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell. (Win McNamee/Getty)

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 12 September 2021 03:33 PM

The Taliban is claiming victory not just over the U.S., but also NATO and the world, according to former acting CIA Director Mike Morell.

"I think that the Taliban winning the war in Afghanistan and then the way our exit happened has absolutely inspired jihadists all over the world," Morell told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

"The Taliban is saying, 'we just didn't defeat the United States. We defeated NATO. We defeated the world's greatest military power ever.' So there's a celebration going on.

"'We defeated the Soviet Union. Then it fell. Now we've defeated NATO.' Right? 'Maybe they can fall, too.'"

Afghanistan is going to be a breeding ground for jihadists and American enemies, according to the Obama-era acting CIA director from 2011-'13.

"I think not only will jihadists be inspired, but a lot of them are going to come to Afghanistan to be part of the celebration, to be part of jihadist central," Morell added to host Margaret Brennan.

"So after 9/11 they all scattered from Afghanistan," he added. "I think we're going to see a flow back in and that's one of the things that makes Afghanistan more dangerous than other spots on the planet."

And the U.S. intelligence operations in Afghanistan are minimal, making the containing of terror threats difficult all over again, Morell warned.

"We have to figure out how we're going to collect intelligence – two types of intelligence," Morell said. "How are we going to make sure that al-Qaida is not rebuilding its capabilities and is planning on attacking us again?

"If we do that, then we have to collect the kind of intelligence that gives you the precision you need to conduct strikes, right? Drones need to be told exactly where on the earth to go. What tells you that is precision intelligence. So [there is] a lot of work for the intelligence community to do here going forward."

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