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Friday, September 24th, 2021

Lawmakers lament Taliban cabinet appointments

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A pair of lawmakers have forwarded correspondence to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, expressing disapproval of the Taliban’s recently announced cabinet appointees.

Reps. John Katko (R-NY), ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and August Pfluger (R-TX), ranking member of the Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee, forwarded the letter as a means of warning with regard to homeland security threats posed by the Taliban’s actions.

The lawmakers specifically referenced the appointment of Sirajuddin Haqqani as acting interior minister in Afghanistan, maintaining Haqqani has ties to terrorism that include al Qaeda operatives and suicide bombings.

“With American citizens and our Afghan allies awaiting permission from the Taliban to leave the country on chartered flights — a previously unthinkable scenario that is wholly unacceptable to the American People — we are urgently concerned about the Taliban’s naming of one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorist operatives, Sirajuddin Haqqani, head of a terrorist group known as the Haqqani Network, as the country’s acting interior minister,” the legislators wrote.

The lawmakers said interior ministers often possess authority related to policies governing security, border enforcement and transportation.

“We are concerned that the safety of American citizens may now be directly in the hands of a known terrorist operative,” the lawmakers concluded. “We are concerned that this newfound power in the hands of the Haqqani Network may further exacerbate circumstances leading to Afghanistan becoming a terrorist safe haven, accelerating external plotting against the United States emanating from Afghanistan.”