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U.S. Lawmakers To Watch Closely If Taliban Will Honor Key Part Of 2020 Peace Deal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The rapid takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban is raising bipartisan terror concerns here at home.

The fear is if Afghanistan once again becoming a safe haven for terror groups that could strike American targets overseas, or the homeland, itself, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported Monday.

In February 2020 an envoy sent by President Donald Trump signed a peace deal with the Taliban. The document was four pages long and included a provision the Trump administration said was key.

"Very importantly, the U.S.-Taliban agreement entails a promise from the Taliban that terrorists can never again operate from Afghan soil," former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Flash forward to today and the Taliban's rapid takeover of Afghanistan. Foreign policy experts from both parties are skeptical about that 2020 promise, fearing the country will again become a terror safe haven, as it was for those who plotted the 9/11 attacks.

"We need to be mindful of the increased danger of potential terrorist attacks on the homeland and we should step up our efforts to fight terrorism," Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.

One major concern is the 2020 deal allowed the release of hundreds of Taliban fighters imprisoned by the Afghan government.

Congresswoman Liz Cheney addressed the issue on CBS This Morning.

"You've got prisoners that were released not only that are likely or will get back into the battle for the Taliban, and al-Qaida in Afghanistan, but will potentially populate terrorist organizations globally. So, we've really entered a very dangerous new phase in the war on terror," Cheney said.

Over the years, NYPD leaders, including former Commissioner James O'Neill, visited Afghanistan to strengthen intelligence ties. There's obvious concern now at One Police Plaza that the Taliban takeover complicates counter-terrorism efforts.

On Monday afternoon President Joe Biden pointed out, "We conduct effective counterterrorism missions against terror groups in multiple countries where we don't have permanent military presence."

The Taliban made a promise in 2020. The world will be watching to see if it is kept.

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