U.S. Officials Say Al-Qaeda Likely Behind Syria Bombings
February 16, 2012
The Director of U.S. National Intelligence says Al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq was likely behind a series of recent bombings against Syrian government targets.
James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the bombings against security and government targets in Damascus and Aleppo bear "all the earmarks of an Al-Qaeda-like attack."
He added that Syrian opposition groups may have been infiltrated by Al-Qaeda, likely without their knowledge.
He said the lack of a unified opposition group could leave a power vacuum that extremists could fill if the Syrian government falls, a potential development he called "troubling," because Syria has an extensive network of chemical weapons sites.
Clapper's comments follow a recent video message from Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in which he called on Muslims to support Syrian rebels.
Compiled from agency reports
Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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