Militant organisations are regrouping in the freshly fallen "terrorist haven" of Afghanistan and we should fear another massive attack, similar to 9/11, according to a top Tory MP.
Both US and British troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan after 20 years of battling the Taliban and other fundamentalist groups.
Afghans are now at the mercy of the Taliban and families of British soldiers who served there are demanding answers from the government as to what their dead and injured relatives' efforts were for.
Now, Tobias Ellwood, the chairman of the defence select committee, said the UK and its allies would come to "regret" pulling troops out of the country because it creates an environment for terrorist groups to thrive, and even plan another attack on the West.
"We’re not just gifting this country to the very adversary [there] when we entered Afghanistan to defeat in the first place, but we’re actually seeing terrorist organisations now regroup and return back to their havens," Mr Ellwood told Sky News on Monday.
The MP added: "Really sadly, I predict another major hit on the West, the likes of 9/11. Because the terrorist groups will want to bookend our time in Afghanistan to show how futile the last two decades have been."
John Bolton, a former national security adviser to Donald Trump, also branded the withdrawal of troops a "big mistake".
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"From the perspective of the US and its allies, this puts us back in the pre-September 11 2001 environment," he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Afghanistan is under siege by the Taliban, 20 years after the fundamentalist group were ousted from power by a US-led military coalition.
US forces and other international troops began to withdraw in May.
During the Taliban's last reign over Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, women were predominantly barred from working or studying and were confined to their homes unless accompanied by a male guardian.
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Public executions and floggings were common, Western films and books were banned, and cultural artefacts seen as blasphemous under Islam were destroyed, Reuters reported.
Fears for Afghan women and girls, in particular, are now widespread, as the Taliban have taken control of the capital, Kabul.
"Women in Afghanistan are the most at danger or most at-risk population of the country," Fawzia Koofi, a women's rights activist, a former lawmaker and member of the Afghan delegation that was working to negotiate peace with the Taliban before the US military's withdrawal, told NBC.
The Taliban claimed that they would write new laws that would enable women "to contribute to the country in a peaceful and protected environment," but reports suggest that women are already under strict prohibition in cities under Taliban control.
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