Media Contact 202-226-8467

Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul responds to President Biden’s outrageous claim that al Qaeda is no longer present in Afghanistan and that the U.S. is getting “help” from the Taliban. President Biden’s comments come after an independent UN report found that the Taliban provides al Qaeda with monthly “welfare payments” that are used to pay fighters, the Taliban’s Ministry of Defense openly uses al Qaeda training manuals and receives instruction from al Qaeda, and that al Qaeda has established training camps across Afghanistan, one of which is specifically used to train suicide bombers. Counter to President Biden’s claims, the UN report concluded that the “relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaida remained close and symbiotic with al-Qaida viewing Taliban-administered Afghanistan a safe haven.” 

“It is completely divorced from reality for President Biden to claim that al Qaeda is no longer operating in Afghanistan or that the Taliban has somehow become our national security partner in the region,” said the chairman. “Al Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda, was discovered living comfortably in Kabul in a home owned by a senior Taliban official, and when the U.S. neutralized the al Qaeda leader, the Taliban disavowed the strike. The UN and top U.S. generals regularly report al Qaeda’s growing capabilities, which not only go unchecked by the Taliban, but are aided by the Taliban through funding and security cooperation. President Biden’s words can only be interpreted as an attempt to whitewash the Taliban and al Qaeda’s longstanding ties, and may even be an attempt to get America on the path of recognizing the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan. That is something I will do everything in my power to oppose.”