The supposed al-Qaeda splinter group more dangerous than ISIS, Khorasan, has taken center stage in Obama’s effort to legitimize the U.S. bombing campaign in Syria.
As we reported September 18, Khorasan, which supposedly consists of a handful of terrorists, is public relations gimmick for an illegal and unconstitutional violation of Syria’s national sovereignty. Prior to its roll out in the lead-up to the Syrian bombing campaign, only the government knew about Khorasan. It was a secret.
“It was supposed to be top secret, classified, and it wasn’t until last week that an AP story had it in there,” said Rep. Peter King. “But we weren’t supposed to talk about it.” The AP story preceded the U.S. bombing campaign by a few days.
From Business Insider:
Though they initially had a relationship with ISIS, like Al Qaeda, the Khorasan Group is said to have distanced itself from the so-called Islamic State. Reportedly, the Khorasan Group is working with Jabhat al-Nusra, the official Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, and attempting to obtain bombs from Yemen that can be detonated by new Western recruits.
However, according to media reports, Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria met up with ISIS in the border town of Albu Kamal in June and pledged allegiance to the group.
Now that the bombing is underway, we are warned Khorasan poses a threat to aviation with its specially designed explosive dipped clothing and bomber toothpaste tubes. This is purportedly the work of Ibrahim al-Asiri, who is al-Qaeda’s master bomb maker. Mr. al-Asiri has yet to successfully blow anything up with the exception of a suicide bomber who concealed a PETN bomb in his rectum. The intended target of the derrière bomber, Prince Muhammed Bin Naif, Assistant Minister of Interior for Security Affairs in Saudi Arabia, escaped with a few scratches.
Recall, back in 2009 after the butt-bomb caper, the media had a field day. “Air travelers could face even more intrusive security checks amid fears that Al Qaeda is planning a terror campaign using suicide bombers carrying explosives hidden in their bodies,” the Daily Mail reported. In order to stop the threat, “draconian and potentially costly measures such as full X-ray screening or a requirement for all passengers to hand in electronic equipment that could possibly be used as detonators would cause chaos and massive delays” were contemplated.
According to the government, attacks by Khorasan bombers are imminent – or maybe they are not. One senior official told CNN on Tuesday the shadowy group was about to attack with toothpaste and underwear bombs (à la Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab), while another said the “threat was not imminent in the sense that there were no known targets or attacks expected in the next few weeks.”
The track record of the U.S. military is much better. So far, around 50 people, mostly civilians, have died after the Pentagon unleashed around 50 pricey Tomahawk missiles from warships in the Red Sea and North Arabian Gulf. This, the Pentagon boasted, was a “very, very successful” mission.
Footage shows how U.S. missiles destroyed residential neighborhoods filled with civilians. Videos distributed by Reuters show Syrians sifting through rubble, apparently seeking to rescue trapped people trapped, after one airstrike in the town of Kfar Daryan in the northern of Syria.
A couple al-Nusra types were allegedly killed in the attack that also killed 13 civilians, three of them children:
Other towns were targeted, including Dair Elzur, Hasakah, and Abu Kamal, so we can assume additional civilians were killed, although the Pentagon notes only “fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles” were hit.
“The United States has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned Al Qaeda veterans — sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group — who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices, and recruit Westerners to conduct operations,” the Pentagon said.