|Ren Benavidez |||Sep 22, 2014 11:02 AM EDT|
(Photo : REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE) Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on ''Current and Projected National Security Threats to the United States'' on Capitol Hill in Washington March 12, 2013.
Amid the threat of ISIL, a new Syrian terrorist group led by an affiliate of Osama bin Laden could pose a greater danger to the West, authorities and intelligence officials said.
According to the officials, the group, which called themselves Khorosan, was formed in 2013 and is set on launching terrorist attacks on the United States and its overseas installations.
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Khorosan is reportedly led by a senior Al-Qaeda member, Muhsin al-Fadhli, who is said to be among the inner circle of Bin Laden and was included in planning of the 9/11 attacks.
The group is not as famous as the Islamic State, and not much is known about them.
However, according to intelligence officials, its members were formerly part of the Al-Qaeda from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. But other than Fadhli, other members of the group remained unidentified.
The group's mode of operation reportedly includes making use of concealed bombs.
In a statement released on Thursday, National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper said Khorosan posed a greater threat to the U.S. than the Islamic State.
According to experts on terrorism and national security, the issue on ISIS has overshadowed the greater danger of terrorism that has risen from the civil war in Syria.
In addition, they said Khorosan and the Nusra Front, which are traditional type of terrorists that branched out from Al-Qaeda, were more dangerous.
For over a decade, American intelligence operatives have been monitoring the movements of the 33-year-old Fadhli.
Following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Fadhli moved from Afghanistan to Iran, where he stayed with other Al-Qaeda members, before he went to Syria, according to the U.S. State Department.
The State Department identified Fadhli as the leader of al-Qaeda in Iran in 2012, who ran and controlled the groups movement and funding within the country.
According to the Iranian government, the Al-Qaeda operatives stayed in the country under house arrest, but their living conditions have been disputed for years, and those who fled Iran went to different countries, including Syria and Pakistan.
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