Washington: The Khorasan Group, an al Qaeda cell in Syria, is posing as a clear threat to the commercial flights headed to Europe and the United States, a top US aviation security official said on Friday.
The US-led coalition has been targeting the terror group in air strikes in Syria this week.
The head of the Transportation Security Administration, John Pistole, said that the group was in the “last phase of execution of an attack” or about to launch an “attack”.
He added that the Khorasan Group has been researching and testing security devices which would be hard to detect by the airport security.
The existence of the shadowy group of senior al Qaeda members was confirmed after the Obama administration acknowledged about its presence on September 18.
The group has reportedly been recruiting “Westerners” to carry explosives on the plane.
Khorasan refers to a province under the Islamic caliphate, or religious empire, of old that included parts of Afghanistan.
The group is a cadre of veteran al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan and Pakistan who travelled to Syria to link up with the al Qaeda affiliate there, the Nusra Front.