UK: Syria conflict brings al-Qaida members closer to Europe

By REUTERS
July 3, 2013 18:32

LONDON - The conflict in Syria has brought al-Qaida fighters closer to Europe and in greater numbers than ever before, profoundly changing the nature of the terrorism threat, Britain's top security official said on Wednesday.

Hundreds and possibly thousands of al-Qaida-linked people had been drawn to the two-year-old uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad, said Charles Farr, Director General of Britain's Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism.

"Syria is a very profound game-changer," Farr told a security conference in London. "The blunt truth is there are more people associated with AQ (al-Qaida) and AQ-associated organizations now operating in Syria than there ever have been before that close to Europe.


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