A statement from the Afghan jihadist organization the Taliban condemned President Joe Biden on Thursday for delaying the withdrawal of American troops from the country, noting the administration of President Donald Trump agreed to leave the country by May 1, but Biden would keep troops there for another four months.
In remarks on Wednesday, Biden announced that all U. S. troops would leave Afghanistan by September 11, 2021, the 20th anniversary of the al-Qaeda attacks on the American homeland that initially prompted President George W. Bush to invade the country. The Taliban has close ties to al-Qaeda and American intelligence officials believed al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden may be hiding in Afghanistan at the time; U.S. forces ultimately found him in neighboring Pakistan.
Biden presented the withdrawal as a declaration he believed the war had gone on too long, without openly addressing that, had he not changed the deadline, U. S. troops would have left Afghanistan by May 1. In late 2020, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Doha, Qatar, to meet Taliban leaders in talks that resulted in an agreement: if the Taliban cut ties to international terrorist groups and stopped attacking U.S. forces, America would withdraw its troops by May 1.