French soldiers patrol through a terminal at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
While the attention of the world is focused on the threat of the Islamic State, some American intelligence and law enforcement officials fear a Syrian group led by a former member of Osama bin Laden's inner circle poses a more direct threat to both the US and its allies in Europe.
The New York Times on Sunday cited US officials as saying a group called Khorasan may in fact be the most likely to target America and its overseas interests with a terrorist attack.
The group's leader, Muhsin al-Fadhli, was believed to be a senior member of al-Qaida and close associate of Osama bin Laden that actually knew about the group's September 11 terror attacks before they happened.
quoted intelligence officials as saying that the shadowy Khorasan group is made up of al-Qaida operatives from across the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.
Atop their agenda is using concealed explosives to carry out terror attacks, according to the report.
quoted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as saying that "in terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State."
Fahdli had previously served as al-Qaida's leader in Iran, in charge of "the movement of funds and operatives" through the country. He is a native Kuwaiti, who has worked to raise money from "jihadist donors" in his country of birth for al-Qaida-linked Syrian Islamist rebels, according to the report.
Khorasan is an offshoot of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front in Syria, part of what some say is emblematic of the conflicts within the jihadist movement.
US intelligence officials fear that some of the approximately 15,000 foreigners in Syria, 100 of whom are Americans, will be able to move back into their home countries undetected to carry out terror attacks.