Syrian Extremists Try to Recruit U.S. Visitors for Attacks – Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Schmitt (New York Times)
Islamic extremist groups in Syria with ties to al-Qaeda are trying to identify, recruit and train Americans and other Westerners who have traveled there to get them to carry out attacks when they return home, according to senior American intelligence and counterterrorism officials.
The civil war has become a magnet for Westerners seeking to fight with the rebels. At least 70 Americans have either traveled to Syria, or tried to, since the civil war started three years ago.
The FBI is conducting costly round-the-clock surveillance on a small number of Americans who have returned to the U.S.
“We know al-Qaeda is using Syria to identify individuals they can recruit, provide them additional indoctrination so they’re further radicalized, and leverage them into future soldiers, possibly in the U.S.,” said a senior counterterrorism official.