Afghanistan Goes from Bad to Worse as Taliban Frees Thousands of Prisoners, Including Many Senior Al Qaeda Operatives

The Taliban has released thousands of prisoners, including many senior al Qaeda operatives, according to reports.

“Estimates suggest that from 5,000 to 7,000 prisoners were left behind following the U.S. withdrawal,” per CNN.

The prison is called Pul-e-Charkhi and it’s the largest in Afghanistan.

It contained a maximum-security cell block for al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners.

This poses a serious threat not only to Afgan citizens, but also to American security interests. The Taliban has also captured the Bagram Air Base.

More from Axios:

Afghan government troops surrendered control of the base, located on the outskirts of Kabul, to the Taliban without a fight.

U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told senators Sunday that a previous assessment of how soon terrorist groups will likely reconstitute in Afghanistan will speed up because of what’s happening there now, three sources on the phone call told Axios.

On the phone call between top Biden officials and senators from both parties, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Milley whether, in light of recent events, they will revise an assessment to Congress in June of a “medium” risk of terrorist groups reconstituting in Afghanistan within two years.

Milley responded “yes” — that he would have to assume that timeline would get moved up and that he would be happy to brief senators in a classified setting.

The Biden administration’s failure to understand the movement of the Taliban and provide effective preparation with the Afghan government has had horrifying consequences.

U.S. troops have been under fire, at least twice, while at Kabul’s Karzai International Airport, the NY Post reports.

“Thousands of Afghans have been filmed desperately chasing after and clinging to a US Air Force plane as it taxied down the runway — with multiple people plunging to their deaths after the aircraft took off in the frantic attempt to flee the country after the Taliban takeover,” the report adds.

Trump has called on Biden to resign from office “in disgrace.”

“What Joe Biden has done with Afghanistan is legendary,” Trump said. “It will go down as one of the greatest defeats in American history!”

“It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen to Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in COVID, the Border catastrophe, the destruction of energy independence, and our crippled economy,” Trump said.

Trump released a statement over the situation in Afghanistan:

“Joe Biden gets it wrong every time on foreign policy, and many other issues. Everyone knew he couldn’t handle the pressure. Even Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, said as much.”

“He ran out of Afghanistan instead of following the plan our Administration left for him — a plan that protected our people and our property, and ensured the Taliban would never dream of taking our Embassy or providing a base for new attacks against America. The withdrawal would be guided by facts on the ground.”

“After I took out ISIS, I established a credible deterrent. That deterrent is now gone. The Taliban no longer has fear or respect for America, or America’s power.”

Trump concluded, “What a disgrace it will be when the Taliban raises their flag over America’s Embassy in Kabul. This is complete failure through weakness, incompetence, and total strategic incoherence.”