Special to WorldTribune.com
WASHINGTON — Western fighters were believed to be joining Al Qaida’s network in Yemen.
Officials said the U.S. intelligence community was tracking the flow of European and American recruits to Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. They said the Westerners were being mobilized by AQAP from the Sunni revolt in Syria.
“In some ways, it’s more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.
In an interview on U.S. television on July 13, Holder said he was discussing the prospect that Westerners were helping an AQAP plot to stage mass-casualty strikes. They said the FBI was investigating Americans who returned from Syria and believed trained in producing or operating bombs.
“That’s a deadly combination, where you have people who have the technical know-how along with the people who have this kind of fervor to give their lives in support of a cause that is directed at the United States and directed at its allies,” Holder said.
Over the last few weeks, U.S. authorities arrested at least three Americans linked to Al Qaida forces in Syria. Officials said Americans could also be recruited to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant amid its drive toward Baghdad.
“If they [ISIL] are able to consolidate their gains in that area, I think it’s just a matter of time before they start looking at the West and at the United States in particular,” Holder said.