Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Don't Give Khorasan 'Space and Time to Plot,' Says Anti-Terror Chief

by Richard Esposito /  / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

The official who heads the Justice Department’s anti-terror effort, said the goal of the U.S. and Allied air campaign in Syria is to keep Islamist groups like ISIS and Khorasan from bringing any terror plots to fruition.

“In order to disrupt them, one lesson that we’ve learned over the years is that you can’t give them the space and time to plot and plan without applying pressure to disrupt them and that’s what we’ve done,” said John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security.

Carlin described Khorasan, previously the least publicly visible group, as a collection of veteran al Qaeda members with an interest in attacking Western targets. “They’re a group of seasoned al Qaeda operatives from the Afghan-Pakistan region and elsewhere in the Middle East who look to take advantage of the conflict in Syria to find ungoverned space where they can plot and plan to conduct external attacks against Americans and others.”

He said al Qaeda and other groups have maintained their desire to conduct another “spectacular” attack against the U.S. or its allies, and are still interested in aviation targets. President Obama had cited the threat of attack as a reason for the bombing campaign.

Radical Islamists are making increasingly sophisticated use of communications technology, he said, including the packaging of “slick propaganda and messaging targeted at Western and U.S. audiences.” He said that the Obama administration and its international partners have increased their focus on counter messaging.

“This is a group whose ideology is one of slaughter,” he said, “and we need to get that message out.”

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.