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Taliban could amass 150 nukes from Pakistan after US withdrawal from Afghanistan, says ex-Trump chief John Bolton


TALIBAN warlords could get their hands on up to 150 nuclear weapons after America’s catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, an ex-White House chief has warned. 

Donald Trump’s security advisor John Bolton said he feared the emboldened fanatics could invade Pakistan and take control of its arsenal of nukes.

The Taliban could pose a risk to neighbouring Pakistan

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The Taliban could pose a risk to neighbouring PakistanCredit: AFP
How Pakistan's nuclear arsenal compares to other countries in the world

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How Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal compares to other countries in the world
John Bolton was previously a White House advisor to Donald Trump

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John Bolton was previously a White House advisor to Donald TrumpCredit: Getty

In an interview with WABC 770, Bolton said: “The Taliban in control of Afghanistan threatens the possibility of terrorists taking control of Pakistan.

“That means maybe 150 nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists.”

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 31, left behind military equipment that was quickly seized by the Taliban after the Islamists swept to power in a lightning offensive.

Bolton, who served under Trump between April 2018 and September 2019, also slammed Joe Biden’s management of the withdrawal.

He warned allies are “wondering if he has a grip on his own administration’s foreign policy”.

Biden and the White House have repeatedly insisted they were blindsided by the sudden Taliban takeover because of the speed the Afghan security forces gave up. 

But rather than fearing the new Afghan government, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has appealed for nations to work with them.

Khan told the UN General Assembly that the Taliban have promised to respect human rights and build an inclusive government since taking over last month.

He said: “If the world community incentivizes them, and encourages them to walk this talk, it will be a win-win situation for everyone.

“We must strengthen and stabilise the current government, for the sake of the people of Afghanistan.”

Khan spent much of his speech defending the record of Pakistan, the main supporter of the Taliban’s 1996-2001 regime that imposed an ultra-austere interpretation of Islam and welcomed Al-Qaeda, triggering the US invasion after the September 11 attacks.

Khan, a longstanding critic of the 20-year US war ended by Biden, blamed imprecise US drone strikes for the flareup of extremism inside Pakistan and pointed to Islamabad’s cooperation with US forces.

Thousands gathered at the perimeter of Kabul airport — some standing in sewage, others attempting to scale the walls and many brandishing travel documents — as US soldiers attempted to control the chaos.

Taliban fighters atop Humvee vehicles stolen from the US backed government parade along a road to celebrate

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Taliban fighters atop Humvee vehicles stolen from the US backed government parade along a road to celebrateCredit: AFP
A helicopter seized by the Taliban is seen displaying their flag as it flies above of supporters gathered to celebrate the US withdrawal

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A helicopter seized by the Taliban is seen displaying their flag as it flies above of supporters gathered to celebrate the US withdrawal
Disturbing moment screaming man is tied to pole and flogged by Taliban for ‘stealing a mobile phone’

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