Tags: Al-Qaida | Khorasan | Pentagon | FBI | Comey

FBI, Pentagon: Not Sure If Khorasan Threat is 'Imminent'

By    |   Friday, 26 Sep 2014 11:00 AM

While the Obama administration has described the Khorasan group, an al-Qaida offshoot bombed along with Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria as an "imminent" threat, the FBI and Pentagon now say they don't know how close the militants were to attacking the United States.

"I don't know that we, you know, can pin that down to a day or month or week or six months," said Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby during a press briefing   Thursday, reports The Hill.

"It doesn't matter," he continued. "I mean, so we can have this debate about, you know, whether it was valid to hit them or not or whether it was too soon or too late. We hit them. And I don't think, you know, we need to throw up a dossier here to prove that these are bad dudes."

Meanwhile, FBI director James Comey told reporters that "it's hard to say whether that's tomorrow, three weeks from now or three months from now," reports The Associated Press. "But it's the kind of threat you have to operate under the assumption that it is tomorrow."

Comey noted that the United States does not "have complete visibility" when it comes to Syria, as the United States had neither an embassy nor troops on the ground there. However, "what I could see concerned me very much that they were working toward an attack."

On Tuesday, Deputy National Adviser Ben Rhodes said during a press briefing that the government believed the Khorasan threat of attack to be "imminent," while refusing to give exact details about the plotting.

"We believe that that attack plotting was imminent and that they had plans to conduct attacks external to Syria," he told reporters. "And we also believe, of course, that the Syrian regime was not able to take action against that threat."

However, Comey said on Thursday that he does not know "exactly what that word means" when it came to an "imminent" attack.

"In this business, given the nature of the people involved, and what we could see, we assumed and acted as if [the attack would come] tomorrow," he added.

And Kirby said that while an attack may not have necessarily been imminent, "what I'll tell you is, they were in the advanced stages, near the end stages of planning an attack on a Western target. We don't know whether it was in Europe or the U.S. homeland, but we know that they were getting close."

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While the Obama administration has described the Khorasan group, an al-Qaida offshoot bombed along with Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria as an "imminent" threat, the FBI and Pentagon now say they don't know how close the militants were to attacking the United States.
Khorasan, Pentagon, FBI, Comey
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2014-00-26
Friday, 26 Sep 2014 11:00 AM
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