South Asia and Beyond

Former Centcom Chief Warns Future ISIS Attacks Against US Are ‘Inevitable’

 Former Centcom Chief Warns Future ISIS Attacks Against US Are ‘Inevitable’

Former US Centcom Chief Frank McKenzie. Source: X

The former US Centcom chief Frank McKenzie has stated that future attacks by ISIS on the US are inevitable and that Washington should be prepared. “We should believe them when they say they’re going to try to do it,” Gen Frank McKenzie said in an interview to ABC.

Gen McKenzie was reacting the message that ISIS had issued recently. Last week, the Islamic State (ISIS) has made a fresh call to its followers to kill Christians and Jews across America and Europe. A report in the Mirror stated that Hudhayfah al-Ansari, the new ISIS spokesperson made an over 40-minute-long address on social media celebrating the deadly terror attack that killed 140 people in Moscow and called upon “lone wolves” to carry out attacks against American forces in Iraq. The message coincided with the 10-year anniversary of the terror group’s declaration of a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

“It is a religious ideological war that will continue until we kill their antichrist under the banner of the Prophet of Allah… tighten the plans and diversify operations: Blow them up with explosives, burn them with incendiary bombs, shoot them with bullets, slaughter their necks with knives, and run them over with buses,” the ISIS spokesperson said in his audio message.

Gen McKenzie singled out the ISIS (Khorasan) ISIS-K and said that they had become bolder ever since US troops had withdrawn from Afghanistan. “It began to grow as soon as we left Afghanistan, it took pressure off ISIS-K,” McKenzie said, referring to the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from the country in 2021. “So I think we should expect further attempts of this nature against the United States as well as our partners and other nations abroad. I think this is inevitable.”

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The ISIS-Khorasan who are at war with the Taliban stepped up their attacks as soon as the US forces withdrew. Tow suicide bombs had ripped through the country in August 2021 killing 13 US troops and Afghans. Since then, they have again been in the news with attacks on Iran. the first was against Iran in January this year where two explosions killed 100 people and the concert hall attack in Moscow in March.

Commenting on the terror threat, President Biden had said that the US could still maintain operations even if they were no longer in Afghanistan. “We conduct effective counterterrorism missions against terrorist groups in multiple countries where we don’t have a permanent military presence. If necessary, we will do the same in Afghanistan.” But Gen Frank McKenzie says he disagrees with this strategy maintaining that a small troop presence should have been maintained in Afghanistan rather than a complete withdrawal.

As the former head of Centcom, a role he held until 2022, Gen McKenzie had overseen the raid on the home of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi in October 2019. He had also overseen the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.


Ashwin Ahmad

Traveller, bibliophile and wordsmith with a yen for international relations. A journalist and budding author of short fiction, life is a daily struggle to uncover the latest breaking story while attempting to be Hemingway in the self-same time. Focussed especially on Europe and West Asia, discussing Brexit, the Iran crisis and all matters related is a passion that endures to this day. Believes firmly that life without the written word is a life best not lived. That’s me, Ashwin Ahmad.