Washington: The al Qaeda terror group is reportedly sending its most valued jihadists from Pakistan to Syria to challenge the Islamic State as part of its plan to establish an emirate in the war-torn country, a media report said on Monday.
Al-Qaida in Pakistan has secretly dispatched over a dozen of its most seasoned veterans there, TOI reported quoting The NYT.
The move reflects Syria's growing importance to the terrorist organization, the report said citing senior US and European counter-terrorism officials.
The jihadists were asked to create an alternate headquarters in Syria and “lay the groundwork for possibly establishing an emirate through al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front”.
Al Qaeda's supreme leader in Pakistan is Ayman al-Zawahri.
“A Syria-based al Qaeda state would not only be within closer striking distance of Europe but also benefit from the recruiting and logistical support of fighters from Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon,” the report said.