I argued in my last post that the Khorasan Group, as well as a series of developments throughout the al-Qaeda (AQ) network, suggest the return of AQ as a potentially serious threat to the United States. A number of events in South Asia, which might have been overlooked if not for the threat from the Khorasan Group, are especially illustrative of the depth of the problem that the U.S. and the world are facing in the AQ network’s resurgence.
The decision by President Obama to carry out airstrikes against the Khorasan Group (also called the Khorasan Shura) and al-Qaeda’s (AQ) affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra (or al-Nusra Front), has shifted the conversation over threats to the U.S. from the Islamic State (IS) to AQ.
In the last two days, Washington, along with various media outlets, have been reporting on the "Khurasan Group," a shadowy terrorist cell in Syria in its later stages of an attack plot against an unspecified Western target(s). It seemed to come out of nowhere; America, in launching what has been specifically branded as a war on the Islamic State (IS), claims a victorious aerial attack against a group no one has ever heard of.
The truth, however, is that virtually everyone around the world has heard about this group, more likely by its other name: al-Qaeda (AQ).
An American citizen, Ali Muhammad Brown, is accused of executing four men—Leroy Henderson, Dwone Anderson-Young, Ahmed Said, and Brian Tevlin—in a shooting rampage across multiple states, intended as revenge against American policy in the Middle East. In response to investigators' questions, he stated: "All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life."
Once again, the conventional wisdom in Washington about al-Qaeda (AQ) and the broader jihadi terrorist threat has been proven wrong. The wishful thinking passing for analysis since the beginning of the year that the split within the movement resulting in the expulsion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from the AQ fold would simultaneously weaken both Core AQ and ISIS—now pretentiously re-named the Islamic State (IS)—has been dramatically disproven by the latter's lightning thrust into Iraq and seizure of the northern and western parts of the war-torn country.