To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the resurgence of the Taliban on the threat of terrorism in the UK.
22 September 2021
The principal threat to the UK’s national security stemming from the withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan and the new Taliban administration will centre on the extent to which Afghanistan is once again used by terrorist groups to prepare attacks against the West in general and the UK in particular. The future relationship between the Taliban and Al Qaeda remains unclear, but in the short term it is unlikely that they would act contrary to the Taliban’s interest. We do not judge that the Taliban themselves have any intent to carry out attacks outside of Afghanistan.
The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) will highly likely continue to target the Taliban in Afghanistan to exacerbate social and ethnic tensions whilst seeking areas for settlement and sanctuary for their fighters. The UK continues to work to counter ISKP through means other than military presence in Afghanistan, working with partners in the region to diminish the threat they pose.