Threat Assessment: The Khorasan Terror Cell More Dangerous Than Islamic State?

September 24, 2014

Benjamin Syme Van Ameringen

Mushin-al-Fadhli, Khorasan

 

As the West focuses on how to confront and dismantle the Islamic State group (formerly ISIS) in Iraq and Syria another possibly more dangerous terrorist cell has emerged on the global jihadist scene. Unlike Islamic State, this new terror cell – known as ‘Khorasan’ – is far more interested in attacking targets in Europe and North America than they are in creating an Islamic Caliphate or toppling the Assad Regime.

It was just released on September 23 that the United States struck a Khorasan command and control hub just outside of Aleppo, Syria in an area under the control of the al-Nusra Front.

 

Khorasan Background

Khorasan is largely shrouded in mystery, though it is believed to be an affiliate of the al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s official franchise in Syria and a direct competitor of Islamic State. Unlike the al-Nusra Front, Khorasan is focused on carrying out operations against Western targets and not the ‘near enemy’ such as the Assad regime, Kurds, or Iraqi central government. Khorasan is believed to be mainly composed of battle-hardened former Al-Qaeda operatives from the Middle East, North Africa, the Caucuses, Afghanistan, and South Asia.

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