Sunday, September 21, 2014

Intelligence Officials: Islamist 'Khorasan Group' May Be Bigger Threat Than ISIS

(Newsmax) The Islamic State (ISIS) may be grabbing the headlines at the moment as the United States plans to hit targets in Syria with airstrikes while building a coalition of ground support, but there are other groups who the United States also should be focusing on, according to a report in The New York Times.

Of particular concern is a group called Khorasan, also based in Syria. It is led by Muhsin al-Fadhli and may be more interested in bombing the U.S. homeland than is ISIS.

Al-Qaida members from the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa are believed to make up the group, but little else is known of who they are. It is thought that they are planning terror attacks using concealed explosives.

The Times describes Fadhli as a senior al-Qaida operative who was close enough to Osama bin Laden that he was one of the few people who knew of the 9/11 attacks before they happened.

He is believed to have arrived in Syria from Iran, where he was one of several al-Qaida members who fled Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks. He was identified as al-Qaida's leader in Iran in 2012 by the U.S. State Department.

National intelligence director James R. Clapper told the Times that "in terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State."