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Al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels trying to recruit visiting Americans to attack US

ANI  |  New York 

Syrian Islamic extremist groups have been trying to identify, recruit and train visiting Americans and other Westerners to carry out attacks on the United States, senior intelligence and counterterrorism officials said.

The Syrian conflict is posing huge threat not just for Europe, but for the US as well, as the civil war has become a magnet for Westerners seeking to fight with the rebels against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, the New York Times reports.

According to the report, nearly 70 Americans have traveled to Syria since the civil war started three years ago.

Analysts revealed that at least 1,200 European Muslims have gone to fight since the start of the civil war.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been tracking Americans, who have returned from Syria, and they have become one of the bureau's highest counterterrorism priorities as they fear they might have received extensive training and jihadist indoctrination by Al Qaeda-linked groups during their stay in the strife-torn nation.

First Published: Sat, January 11 2014. 11:32 IST