The Soufan Group has warned that Al Qaida could use any of thousands of foreign fighters in Syria to attack the West.
In a report, Soufan, a risk assessment consultant based in New York, cited threats from Ahrar Al Sham, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Nusra Front for the Defense of Levant.
“The Al Qaida leadership has also taken a close interest in Syria, seeing it as an opportunity to recover from the hammering it has suffered since 2001, and it has sent senior operatives there to work with and influence affiliated groups,” the report, titled “Foreign Fighters in Syria,” said.
Author Richard Barrett asserted that more than 12,000 foreign fighters from 81 countries have fought in Syria since 2011. Barrett, a vice president at Soufan, said some 3,000 of these fighters were from the West, the majority of them converts to Islam, with many of them linked to Al Qaida. Morocco was said to represent the largest contingent, with 1,500 fighters.
Soufan, which consults for such U.S. agencies as the FBI and Defense Department, said the Syrian war was likely to be an incubator for a “new generation of terrorists.” The report said the three largest recruiters of the foreigners were Ahrar, ISIL and Nusra.
Full article: Report: 12,000 potential terrorists from 81 nations got combat training in Syria (World Tribune)