#AceBreakingNews – UNITED STATES – September 24 U.S. and coalition aircraft launched five air-strikes early Wednesday against terrorist targets in Iraq and Syria, U.S. military officials told NBC News.
Officials said one airstrike damaged eight vehicles linked to ISIS northwest of Al Qa’im, Syria, while four strikes occurred in Iraq.
Two vehicles and a weapons cache west of Baghdad were targeted while ISIS “fighting positions” southeast of Erbil were hit by the two other strikes. In addition to ISIS, a group of “seasoned al Qaeda veterans” known as Khorasan has also been targeted by U.S. strikes in Syria.
#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – September 21 – A brand new intelligence has emerged warning Washington that its upcoming confrontation with the Islamic State may leave it blind to a more sinister and direct threat from a much lesser known terrorist group that has arisen from the ashes of the Syrian war.
Very little information is being released at the moment by anyone within American intelligence and law enforcement circles, but the group calling itself Khorasan is said by officials to have concrete plans for striking targets in the United States and Europe as a chosen modus operandi – more so than the Islamic State (IS), formerly known as ISIS.
The first ever mention of the group occurred on Thursday at an intelligence gathering in Washington DC, when National Intelligence Director James Clapper admitted that “in terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.”
According to the New York Times, some US officials have gone as far as saying that, while the Islamic State is undoubtedly more prominent in its show of force in the Middle East, the US air strike campaign and the coming actions by the anti-IS coalition will be what coaxes it into larger-scale attacks oversees – what Khorasan is essentially all about.
This brings up another issue seen in the current Western stance on terrorism: it is so focused on the terror spread by the IS that it’s beginning to forget that the destruction and mayhem of civil war across the Middle East is spawning a number of hard-to-track terrorist factions.
“What you have is a growing body of extremists from around the world who are coming in and taking advantage of the ungoverned areas and creating informal ad hoc groups that are not directly aligned with ISIS or Nusra,” a senior law enforcement official told the NY Times on condition of anonymity.
The CIA and the White House declined to give comment.
According to government sources, the Al-Qaeda offshoot group is led by a former senior operative – 33-year-old Muhsin al-Fadhli, reportedly so close to Bin Laden’s inner circle that he was one of the few who knew of the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks in advance.
He had reportedly fled to Iran during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. Al Qaeda’s story goes hazy after the campaign: many operatives are said to have traveled to Pakistan, Syria, Iran and other countries, forming splinter groups.
In 2012, al-Fadhli was identified by the State Department as leading the Iranian branch of Al-Qaeda, controlling “the movement of funds and operatives” in the region and working closely with wealthy“jihadist donors” in his native Kuwait to raise money for the Syrian terrorist resistance.
#AceNewsServices –UNITED STATES (Washington) – September 13 – While the Islamic State group is getting the most attention now, another band of extremists in Syria – a mix of hardened jihadis from Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Europe –
poses a more direct and imminent threat to the United States, working with Yemeni bomb-makers to target U.S. aviation, American officials say.
At the centre is a cell known as the Khorasan group, a cadre of veteran al-Qaida fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who travelled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there, the al-Nusra Front.
But the Khorasan militants did not go to Syria principally to fight the government of President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials say.
Instead, they were sent by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri to recruit Europeans and Americans whose passports allow them to board a U.S.-bound airliner with less scrutiny from security officials.
Known as Lashkar-e-Khorasan (LeKh), the group’s only purpose is to identify, capture and execute people allegedly working for what is described as a web of local spies created by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).