Syrian-Based Group Plotting “Imminent” Attack on Westerners

The majority of the Tomahawk cruise missiles fired in the first wave of air strikes in Syria Monday were against Khorasan group compounds, manufacturing workshops, and training camps, said Joint Staff Operations Director Lt. Gen. William Mayville on Tuesday. Intelligence reports indicated the Khorasan, an al Qaeda affiliate based out of northwest Syria, “was in the final stages of plans to execute major attacks against Western targets” in Europe and “potentially the US homeland,” said Mayville. “As I’m sure you probably know, we’re still assessing the effects of our strikes, but we’ve been watching this group closely for some time,” said Mayville. He added, “We know that the Khorasan group has attempted to recruit westerners to serve as operatives or to infiltrate back into their homelands.” Though based in Syria, Mayville said the Khorasan “clearly is not focused on either” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime “or the Syrian people. They are establishing roots in Syria in order to advance attacks against the West and the homeland.” Mayville said it’s too early to say whether the successfully deterred the threat.