For all the attention given to ISIS, there’s another terrorist group in Syria that arguably poses a much bigger threat to the U.S. (Video via U.S. Department of Defense)
Acting without the help of its Arab partners, the U.S. also targeted the Khorasan group in Monday’s nights airstrikes in Syria. (Video via Step Agency News)
A statement from Central Command said these attacks on Khorasan targets were meant “to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests.”
A pretty alarming statement for a group most of us are hearing about for the first time.
U.S. officials have kept tight lipped about Khorasan.
HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY JEH JOHNSON VIA CBS: “Discussion of a specific organizations should be left to a classified setting.”
In January, director of national intelligence James Clapper made a vague reference to Al-Qaeda fighters based in Syria — but he did not give their name. (Video via C-SPAN)
He mentioned the group’s name for the first time publicly in a recent New York Times article — warning “Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.”
Based in Aleppo, the group is made up of about 50 veterans fighters from Osama bin Laden’s old Al-Qaeda network. (Video via History Channel)
It’s believed Al-Qaeda's leadership sent them to Syria to recruit Western passport holders, who are then trained, according to the Arab Times, “on how to execute terror operations in the Western countries, focusing mostly on means of public transportation such as trains and airplanes.”
And they’re reportedly getting help from Al-Qaeda's chief bomb maker in Yemen Ibrahim al-Asiri — the man responsible for making the device supplied to the would-be underwear bomber. (Video via Channel 4)
CNN cites an unnamed senior U.S. official who says the U.S. planned the Khorasan strikes well in advance and were hoping for an element of surprise.