WASHINGTON, D.C.: US Attorney General Eric Holder said on Sunday that intelligence sug–gesting bomb makers from Yemen have teamed up with militants in Syria was “more frightening than anything” he had seen before.
In an interview with ABC television’s “This Week,” Holder called the alleged co–operation between expert bomb-makers in Yemen and jihadists fighting in Syria’s civil war a “deadly combination.”
ABC News, citing unidentified sources, said US intelligence suspects Yemeni bomb makers in Syria have designed an explosive device small enough to fit in a laptop computer.
“I think we are at a dangerous time,” Holder said, referring to the linkup of experts with technical know-how and “people who have this kind of fervor to give their lives.”
“It’s something that gives us really extreme, extreme concern,” he said in the interview broadcast on Sunday.
“In some ways, it’s more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general,” Holder added.
The US official expressed “great concern” about the influx of Europeans and Americans into Syria to fight and the “potential impact” they could have back in their home countries. He estimated there are about 7,000 such fighters at this time.
And “it’s just a matter of time” before Islamic State fighters who have launched a vast offensive in Iraq and seized a large chunk of territory there set their sights toward the West and the United States “in particular,” Holder added.
“So this is something that we have to get on top of and get on top of now,” he said.
Holder said the foreign fighter problem presented a clear and present danger.
“We are at a dangerous time,” he said.
Holder said he was especially concerned about “lone wolf”-type militants who conduct attacks such as the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
“These lone wolves, these homegrown violent extremists are people who keep me up at night, as well, trying to monitor them, trying to anticipate what it is that they are going to do,” he said.
“And, you know, the experience that we had in Boston is instructive. It only takes one or—or two people to really do something horrific,” he added.