August 8, 2022

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham Ray asked, “Are you concerned about an attack on the homeland stemming from places like Afghanistan?”

Ray replied, “We are.” “Especially now that we’re out, I’m concerned about the possibility of losing sources and collecting (intelligence) there.”

The FBI director added that he was concerned that terrorists in the United States could inspire the potential growth of terrorist organizations in Afghanistan. “I am concerned about the possibility that we will see al-Qaeda reconstitute, potentially taking advantage of the deteriorating security environment, and I am concerned about terrorists, including here in the United States, who are inspired by what they see there,” Wari said.
His comments come just days after Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in Afghanistan by a drone strike. Announcing the operation, President Joe Biden said Monday, “I made a promise to the American people that we would continue to conduct effective counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond. We did just that.”

Biden vowed that al-Zawahiri “will never allow Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists, because he is gone and we will make sure nothing else happens.”

However, when asked Thursday if he was surprised that al-Zawahiri lives in Afghanistan, Wray said he was “not surprised, but disappointed.”

Ray’s comments echo a “global alert update” issued by the State Department earlier this week in the wake of Zawahiri’s death. “The State Department believes that there is a greater likelihood of acts of violence against America given the killing of Ayman al-Zawahiri on July 31, 2022,” the notice said.

Current information described that terrorist organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against US interests in multiple regions around the world.

“These attacks may use a variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, kidnappings, and bombings.”

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.

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