Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | khorasan | group | imminent | airstrikes

'Imminent Attack' in US Prompted Airstrikes on Khorasan Group

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 12:30 PM

Airstrikes against the militant Khorasan Group in Syria were prompted by plans for an “imminent” terror attack on U.S. soil, the Pentagon said.

“We believe the individuals plotting and planning it were eliminated” in the eight U.S. airstrikes overnight, Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, said today in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” program.

The militant organization was made up of a “network of seasoned al-Qaeda veterans” preparing to attack U.S. and western interests, the Pentagon said. No further details were given about the plots.

U.S. officials had warned in the past week that despite the current focus on Islamic State, the intelligence community needs to continue watching less high-profile terrorists.

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“What we can’t do is let down our guards for any one of these” groups, CIA Director John Brennan said at a Sept. 17 conference on intelligence issues in Washington. “You have to be looking at some of these smaller groups.”

Those include the al-Nusra Front, which has ties to al- Qaeda and has made clear its intent to launch attacks outside of the Syrian battleground. Speaking at the same conference, James Clapper, director of U.S. National Intelligence, said the Khorasan Group, part of al-Nusra, represents a threat on par with Islamic State. The Khorasan Group is also part of the core al-Qaeda that operates along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

Low Profile

Compared with Islamic State, fighters for al-Nusra keep a lower profile on the Internet, with most videos aimed at local Muslims, according to the Mapping Militant Organizations project at Stanford University in California. The videos or postings generally don’t show identifiable western fighters, even though the group attracts the second-largest contingent of foreign militants in Syria.

The core group was dispatched from the tribal areas of Pakistan to recruit European Union and U.S. passport holders coming to Syria to wage jihad, and some U.S. intelligence officials think it also may be recruiting in Libya and Somalia, also magnets for young, disaffected Muslims.

A chief concern is the group’s apparent link to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s leading bomb designer in Yemen, Ibrahim al-Asiri, whom the U.S. has targeted with drones, so far without success. His specialty is said to be bombs designed into clothing and implanted in the human body.


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Airstrikes against the militant Khorasan Group in Syria were prompted by plans for an "imminent" terror attack on U.S. soil, the Pentagon said."We believe the individuals plotting and planning it were eliminated" in the eight U.S. airstrikes overnight, Rear Admiral John...
khorasan, group, imminent, airstrikes
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2014-30-23
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 12:30 PM
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