Monday, February 20, 2012

Al-Qaeda likely behind Syria bombings: US spy chief

Al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq likely carried out recent suicide bombings in Syria and has infiltrated opposition forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad's regime, the US spy chief said Thursday.

Bombing attacks in Damascus and Aleppo since December "had all the earmarks of an Al-Qaeda-like attack," James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"And so we believe Al-Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria," he said.

His comments confirmed earlier reports that US officials suspected Al-Qaeda's hand in the bombings and follows a recent video message from Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in which he endorses the uprising against Assad's rule.

Iraq's deputy interior minister told AFP this month that Al-Qaeda was moving guns and militants from Iraq into Syria. Read More