WASHINGTON — Clearly and visibly troubled by the prospect of Syria’s chemical weapons getting into the wrong hands, Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee revealed, “There’s over 10,000 members subscribed to al- Qaida operating in the eastern part of Syria.”
Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance Summit in Washington that the large pool of terrorist gathering there is coming from all over the world, “including the United States of America.”
He said, “They’re being trained, further radicalized and guess what when this is over, whatever it looks like, they’re going home.”
U.S. intelligence officials have dispatched bulletins in recent years to law enforcement warning that radicalized Americans are a threat to return to the U.S. with the intent to launch attacks.
That precisely is what worries Rogers’ counterpart on the intelligence committee, Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.
Speaking at the same event, Ruppersberger said al-Qaida has “some very smart people that are part of their organization,” and they are undertaking groundbreaking activities to attack the U.S.
“You have doctors that are researching and they’re putting plastic bombs in individuals so they can go through the airports and not be detected,” said Ruppersberger.
The “lone wolf” terrorist is his primary concern. They have previously come to the U.S. from numerous global locations, but Ruppersberger believes the majority today are coming “more out of Yemen (Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP) than from any other area.”
He said they are “focusing on the United States and (using) individuals that are under the radar.”
It is AQAP’s genius that worries intelligence officials around the world. The organization produced the underwear bomb, the printer cartridge bomb and is believed to be behind efforts to develop surgically implanted bombs.
U.S. intelligence sources say there is concern that AQAP and al-Qaida franchises Al Nusra (Syria) and the Islamic State of Iraq, may have designs on the 1,000 tons of chemical weapons believed to be in Syria.
The Obama administration and the Russian government are trying to hammer out a way to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, but there are serious concerns they may make their way to the black market, because of their value.
“The stockpiles that Syria has are both larger and better grade weaponry than even the Iranians have,” said David Kay, former U.N. weapons inspector.