The Syrian rebels the United States may assist by launching a military strike against the Assad regime will eventually turn on America, according to Steve Emerson, executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.
"The bottom line is the rebels are jihadists and they'll turn against us like in Afghanistan," Emerson told former Florida Rep. Allen West, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"We assisted the Mujahideen [a Sunni resistance group in Iraq] in the '80s and what happened? They turned against us and it led to 9/11."
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Emerson said he fears al-Qaida terrorist groups will become "emboldened" if the United States attacks the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, which last month dropped chemical weapons on Syrian rebel forces, killing more than 1,400 people.
But, he added, the Obama administration will probably not do "anything of substance."
"[Assad has] already had enough time to hide all his major assets. The president has already backtracked on everything, saying it's only going to be limited. Basically, he said it's just going to be a tap on the shoulder," Emerson said.
"This has played out as sort of a slow-motion train wreck in the eyes of the entire world, especially with Britain withdrawing and everybody else cringing: the Iranians, Hezbollah, everybody."
Emerson's group is a nonprofit research group which studies radical Islamic terrorist groups.
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