Lindsey Graham Warns Biden's Afghanistan Exit Has 'Set the Conditions for Another 9/11'

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham warned Sunday that the withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan has "set the conditions for another 9/11."

Graham, a Republican, said on CBS News' Face the Nation that not withdrawing troops at all would have been the best way to avoid heightened terror threats—adding that working with indigenous forces is "the best insurance policy against another 9/11."

He also suggested that President Joe Biden created conditions for ISIS to "flourish" in Afghanistan.

"The parade of horribles are about to unfold," Graham said. "The chance of another 9/11 just went through the roof."

The senator said that drone attacks will not degrade ISIS—just days after the Biden administration authorized an airstrike that killed two prominent members of ISIS-K. The military move was in retaliation for the Thursday attack on the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. service members and over 160 Afghans.

Graham criticized Biden, saying that future presidents will now have to deal with the aftermath of the Afghanistan exit. He also said it is a dereliction of duty to leave Americans "behind enemy lines."

"This war has not ended. We've entered into a new deadly chapter. Terrorists are now in charge of Afghanistan," Graham said.

He also cautioned that the Biden administration must not recognize the Taliban as the representatives of Afghanistan.

"I would counsel the Biden administration, do not legitimize the Taliban, do not recognize them. Because if you do, you're going to put Americans at risk all over the world," said Graham.

Senator Lindsey Graham
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said “the chance of another 9/11 just went through the roof” in light of the exit of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Here, is speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 30. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

On Sunday, the U.S. military confirmed that an airstrike hit an explosives-packed vehicle headed for the Kabul airport.

Security experts are concerned that the Taliban—left with many of the highest technology American weapons given to the Afghan army—may struggle to defeat ISIS.

"What was surprising is that ISIS-K regularly conducted attacks in Kabul, the center of the operational area of the Haqqani network, the Salafi-oriented network within the Taliban that has the closest links to Al-Qaeda of all the various Taliban factions," Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director at the Counter Extremism Project, told Newsweek. "These attacks were not followed by visible retaliation of the Haqqani network, which used to 'defend' its area of operations against other Taliban factions. This noteworthy lack of reaction of the Haqqani network is even more worrying now that the network is in charge of security in Kabul."

When reached for comment by Newsweek, the White House referred to remarks made by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Face the Nation Sunday.

"It is something that we are very closely tracking, whether there are any threats to the U.S. homeland or to U.S. interests anywhere else in the world," Sullivan said. "What the intelligence community has assessed to date is that the relevant terrorist groups in Afghanistan do not possess advanced external plotting capabilities, but of course they could develop them. And that is something that we need to be very focused on."