Top American lawmakers from the opposition Republican Party on Tuesday hit out at the Taliban over their announcement of an interim government in Afghanistan that includes a specially designated global terrorist.
"Don't be fooled. There is nothing more moderate about the revived Taliban government. This is a government of terrorists, by the terrorists, and for the terrorists," said the Republican Study Committee, which is the largest conservative caucus in the House of Representatives and chaired by Congressman Jim Banks.
"The Taliban's new cabinet comprises former Guantanamo Bay detainees, designated terrorists, and other individuals closely tied to foreign terror groups like Al-Qaeda and the Haqqani Network," Congressman Tim Burchett said.
Burchett said the Taliban clearly have no intention of moderating their extreme beliefs and methods of government, and the Biden administration is "foolishly trusting them to keep American citizens and allies safe".
"President Biden needs to show some strength and let the Taliban know they cannot put Americans in danger or facilitate acts of terror without serious retribution," he said.
"This is a government of terrorists, by the terrorists, and for the terrorists," said the Republican.
"President Biden still clings to an insane fantasy that the Taliban is kinder and gentler. It's nonsense," said Senator Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
"Haqqani is the Taliban's new interior minister for precisely the same reason the FBI's got a USD 5 million bounty on his head: he's a bloodthirsty terrorist," Sasse said.
The Taliban on Tuesday unveiled a hardline interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, with key roles being shared by high-profile members of the insurgent group, including Sirajuddin Haqqani -- an especially designated global terrorist of the dreaded Haqqani Network -- as the interior minister.
"He's armed, dangerous, and running a country we just abandoned. Americans are still trapped behind Taliban lines. The Biden administration is still refusing to disclose how many of our people they left behind, and the State Department keeps talking about how they really hope the Taliban will live up to their commitments. Pathetic," Sasse said.
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney said it is theocratic government. "Four of the five prisoners that Obama traded for Bowe Bergdahl are now senior Taliban government officials. One thing never fails: The Obama-Biden policy of weakness and appeasement always backfires on Americans sooner or later," she said.
"The new Taliban, just like the old Taliban, plus a currently wanted international terrorist. Seriously, is ANYBODY surprised by this?" tweeted Congressman Scott Franklin.