Intel chief: Al-Qaida cell in Syria poses threat

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. director of national intelligence says a group of al-Qaida fighters in Syria poses a potential threat to the U.S. equal to that of the Islamic State militants.

James Clapper on Thursday became the first U.S. intelligence official to use the name of the cell, the Khorasan Group. He spoke at an intelligence conference in Washington.

The Associated Press reported Saturday that the group is working from Syria with al-Qaida's Yemen affiliate to plot attacks on American aviation.

The Khorasan Group has been described by U.S. intelligence officials as a cell of veteran al-Qaida fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who are trying to recruit Western extremists to attack Europe and the U.S.

American officials told the AP it posed a more imminent threat than the Islamic State group.

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