“Al Qaeda is decimated and on the run,” President Barack Obama repeatedly declared during his 2012 run for re-election.
Vice President Joe Biden went one better (or worse), warning that if elected president, Mitt Romney would go to war in Syria.
Mitt Romney wasn’t elected, but Barack Obama and Joe Biden have gone to war in Syria — against the al Qaeda that they both said was “decimated and on the run.” The Obama administration launched air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria Monday night.
The overnight airstrikes also included hits on a previously unreported terrorist force called the Khorasan group. The US conducted those strikes because intelligence suggested that the group was planning an imminent terrorist attack against either the US or Europe.
Briefing reporters at the Pentagon, Lt. Gen. William Mayville, who directs operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Khorasan Group was nearing “the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland.”
Last week, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said the Khorasan Group posed a “potential threat.” But senior Obama administration officials, briefing reporters Tuesday under ground rules that they not be identified, said the intelligence was both more precise and more dire than Clapper suggested.
“We were monitoring active plotting that posed an imminent threat to the United States and potentially our allies,” one official said. “That was the united view of our intelligence community.”
The Khorasan Group, which consists of al-Qaida veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is focused on attacking the West, not the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Mayville said.
“We know that the Khorasan Group has attempted to recruit Westerners to serve as operatives or to infiltrate back into their homelands,” he said. “The Khorasan Group is clearly not focused on either the Assad regime or the Syrian people. They are establishing roots in Syria in order to advance attacks against the West and the homeland.”
Al Qaeda was on the run — to the vacuum of power that the US-led air war in Libya created, and to the chaos in Syria.
Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize winner has now launched two air wars without consulting the Congress that he promised to consult when he was a candidate. That’s one more Obama taunt that just hasn’t stood up in the face of reality.