While we are concentrating ALL our efforts and views on ISIS, intelligence emerged that will leave the United States and its allies blind sided by terrorist attacks with even more upcoming confrontation than being witnessed with the Islamic State. It is far more sinister and a direct threat from a much lesser known terrorist group that has arisen from the ashes of the Syrian war.
This splinter group calling itself Khorasan may be laying in wake with concrete plans for striking targets in the United States and Europe as a chosen modus operandi – more so than ISIS. The inside information in Washington who have had the information for years will not deny that 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, it is Khorasan who’s intent on oversees campaigns in a way Al Qaeda usually is.
In this sense, the US air strike campaign and the coming actions by the anti-IS coalition might just be what coaxes IS into larger-scale attacks on American and European soil – what Khorasan is essentially all about which brings up another issue that blinds Washington’s stance on terrorism. It is so focused on the terror spread by 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 and sleep cells with distinct missions.
Khorasan – a splinter group from Al-Qaeda (a growing body of extremists from around the world) 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 of which our government and intelligence are ignoring.
This Al-Qaeda offshoot group is led by a former senior operative Muhsin al-Fadhli. He had reportedly fled to Iran during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan with other Operatives moving to and from Pakistan, Syria, Iran and other countries after the campaign, forming splinter groups.
Al-Fadhli was identified 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.
Although American intelligence is said to have been tracking it for over a decade, Khorasan itself is shrouded in mystery. Little is known publicly and it is said to favor concealed explosives as a terror method and like other groups taking power in war-torn provinces like Syria, Khorasan has on occasion shifted its alliances.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri at one point ordered the former ISIS to fight only in Iraq, but cut all ties with it when it disobeyed and branched out. The result was that the Nusra Front became Al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. It’s said that Khorasan is to Al Nusra Front what the latter was to Al-Qaeda.
They see their mission in recruiting European and American Muslim militants who have traveled to Syria to fight alongside Islamist extremist groups that form part of the rebel coalition fighting Syria’s Assad regime. In return, the Khorasan group hopes to train and deploy these recruits, who hold American and European passports, for attacks against Western targets. The belief here is that Khorasan will be Al-Qaeda’s new arm in carrying our terrorist attacks against the United States.
The group reportedly has the services of Al-Qaeda bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, whose devices previously ended up on three US-bound planes. He is known to be a true pioneer of hard-to-detect bombs. The next step most likely in their agenda will be taking those bombs and pairing them with US-born and other foreign jihadist returning home.
In this respect, Khorasan threats to the US to be much more directly compared to the Islamic State’s more regional ambitions and since POTUS anti ISIS strategy does not include Al Nusra, which then frees up Khorasan’s hands.
Al Nusra is set apart from many other groups is that it’s now the only faction with active branches throughout Syria.
The volatile conflict zone that is Syria, with its lax borders and an increasing number of distinct, armed Islamist groups, the US may be surprised by how difficult it soon may be to pinpoint the origin of the next threat.