During a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday, CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael Kurilla gave lawmakers a "chilling assessment" of terror group ISIS-Khorasan’s capabilities in the coming months.
“It is my commander’s estimate that [ISIS-K] can do an external operation against US or Western interests abroad in under six months with little to no warning,” he told the senators. “It’s much harder for them to be able to do that against the [US] homeland.”
The remark came after Republican Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska asked how long he believed it would take for ISIS-K to operate outside of Afghanistan.
BREAKING: Biden’s top Middle East Commander tells @SenatorFischer that ISIS-K can attack US and Western interests “in under six months with little to no warning.” pic.twitter.com/U2uEjbBauZ— POLARIS (@polarisnatsec) March 16, 2023
The terror group is responsible for the attack on U.S. service members at Hamid Karzai International Airport in August of 2021 amid the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal.
Kurilla told lawmakers he would explain why he came to that conclusion in a subsequent closed door session, but did say ISIS-K has used the leadership situation in Afghanistan to their advantage.
“Extremist groups see opportunity, and ISIS-Khorasan grows emboldened, seeking to expand its ranks and inspire, enable, and direct attacks in the region and beyond – with the ultimate goal to strike on the American homeland,” he said.
"What a chilling assessment," reacted Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Twitter. "He made it clear that ISIS-K, the branch of the Islamic State operating in Afghanistan, could – within mere months – strike U.S. interests at home and abroad."
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