(World Tribune / Worthy News)– The West faces an Al Qaida blow-back based on Sunni foreign fighters in Syria, a report said.
The Soufan Group has warned that Al Qaida could use any of thousands of foreign fighters in Syria to attack the West.
"The Al Qaida leadership has also taken a close interest in Syria, seeing it as an opportunity to recover from the hammering it has suffered since 2001, and it has sent senior operatives there to work with and influence affiliated groups," the report, titled "Foreign Fighters in Syria," said.
Author Richard Barrett asserted that more than 12,000 foreign fighters from 81 countries have fought in Syria since 2011. Barrett, a vice president at Soufan, said some 3,000 of these fighters were from the West, the majority of them converts to Islam, with many of them linked to Al Qaida. Morocco was said to represent the largest contingent, with 1,500 fighters.
"Leaving aside what may happen in Syria, if Al Qaida can maintain a network of even a small number of motivated returnees, or recruit fighters to its terrorist agenda while they are still in Syria, it may once more pose a significant global threat," the report, issued on June 3, said.