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Washington, D.C. – In a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing last week, top Biden administration officials attempted to downplay the Taliban’s terrorist ties in an effort to exclude them from an updated authorized use of military force (AUMF). They repeatedly claimed the Taliban is meeting their counterterrorism obligations under the Doha agreement because they are working to defeat ISIS-K. In reality, the Taliban is working with their allies al Qaeda to defeat their shared enemy ISIS-K as part of an internal struggle for power that has been going on since 2014. The Taliban have never cut ties with al Qaeda, an internationally recognized terrorist organization that is also a designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the United States government. 

“If the Taliban were truly upholding their counterterrorism obligations, they would work to defeat al Qaeda instead of paying, protecting, and employing them,” said Chairman McCaul. “I am gravely concerned the Biden administration is trying to hide this fact from the American people so the Taliban can be excluded from a future AUMF as part of a broader effort to normalize relations with them. And I will not stand by and allow them to do this.”

In this same hearing, Acting Undersecretary Victoria Nuland made the outrageous claim that Afghans who worked for the U.S. government were not being hunted down by the Taliban, stating “I don’t believe that we’ve seen a consistent pattern of those Afghans who worked and supported our efforts in Afghanistan being murdered by the Taliban.” Chairman McCaul released a statement on Thursday highlighting the absurdity of this claim, and giving a few examples from a recent UN report that highlighted the Taliban’s attacks on America’s Afghan allies.

“It is grossly inaccurate for Acting Undersecretary Nuland to claim the Taliban isn’t targeting those Afghans who aided the United States – that the Biden administration abandoned in 2021. There are thousands of confirmed acts of violence against Afghan allies, including many who have been murdered. Once again, the Biden administration is lying to the American people about the destruction they caused in Afghanistan. It’s shameful,” said the chairman.

Read the full statement here.