Katko, McCaul, Rogers Warn of Dangerous Threat Posed by Prisoners Released by Taliban

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Republican Leader of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), Republican Leader of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Republican Leader of the House Committee on Armed Services, are demanding the White House provide critical information related to the thousands of detainees released from detention facilities in Afghanistan, including Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul and at Bagram Air Base by the Taliban as they seized control of the country.

In a letter to White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan, Katko, McCaul, and Rogers wrote, “Amidst the litany of security, humanitarian, and diplomatic crises emerging from the Biden-Harris Administration’s chaotic withdrawal process in Afghanistan, we write concerning widespread media reporting that the Taliban has released thousands of prisoners from detention facilities, including the Pul-e-Charkhi prison in Kabul and at Bagram Air Base. Prisoners reported to have been held in these detention facilities include thousands of Taliban fighters, senior Al-Qaeda operatives, Islamic State Afghanistan (ISKP) members, and former Guantanamo Bay detainees—all of whom pose serious concern to the security of the United States.”

“With the very real prospect that seasoned terrorist operatives now roam freely in a Taliban controlled Afghanistan, we write to urgently request information on how the U.S. Government (USG) plans to mitigate threats to U.S. interests and the homeland. The rapidly deteriorating situation in Afghanistan suggests that the region may once again return to being a terrorist safe-haven, serving to train foreign fighters while allowing terrorist groups to plot, direct, and inspire attacks against the United States and the American people.” the members continued.

Katko, McCaul, and Rogers highlighted that these homeland security challenges are further exacerbated by the ongoing crisis at the southern border, as the outgoing U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) chief confirmed they are apprehending unprecedented numbers of known or suspected terrorists (KSTs) at the border.

Read the full letter here.

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