As the Obama Administration began bombing in Syria under questionable legality, a sweetener was thrown in to the propaganda campaign to get the US involved in the civil war in Syria – the Khorasan Group. Though President Obama never mentioned the group in his speech to the nation, the Khorasan Group became another part of the justification for expanding the war from Iraq into Syria.
One problem, the Khorasan Group was mostly hype.
Though the US corporate media went wild regurgitating Obama Administration nightmare fantasies concerning Khorasan, after the public was sufficiently terrorized and the bombs started dropping the “imminent threat” faded from the headlines. And, upon further investigation, it appears the White House took the country out for a ride again.
Some senior intelligence officials, however, haven’t been so emphatic in their assessments. “In terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at a conference in Washington last week. But according to the top U.S. counterterrorism official, as well as Obama himself, there is “no credible information” that the militants of the Islamic State were planning to attack inside the United States.
Although the group could pose a domestic terrorism threat if left unchecked, any plot it tried launching today would be “limited in scope” and “nothing like a 9/11-scale attack,” Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said in remarks at the Brookings Institution earlier this month. That would suggest that Khorasan doesn’t have the capability either, even if it’s working to develop it. “Khorasan has the desire to attack, though we’re not sure their capabilities match their desire,” a senior U.S. counterterrorism official told Foreign Policy.
So not so much an “imminent threat” as a group of people with wicked intentions. Quite a precedent. Will the US bomb anywhere they believe a group of people may have ill-intentions on the United States or was that target struck just to finish out the propaganda campaign? In order to close the sale something had to be bombed.
Sadly, the cynical scenario of a one-off hype and bomb campaign to manipulate public opinion is the better scenario. The other scenario is that the Obama Administration has been conjuring up and hyping threats to justify US involvement and domination as a matter of continued policy – in which case the global war on terror remains unchanged from the Bush years.
Image from The Big Combo under public domain.