Is Al-Qaida in Syria?

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In the last fortnight there has been a growing media interest in whether or not al-Qaida is in Syria and may have carried out two terrorist attacks in Damascus and a more recent one in Aleppo. First an article appeared in McClatchy newspapers quoting anonymous US officials who suggest that two bombings in Damascus — one on December 23, 2011, the other on January 6, 2012 — were carried out by al-Qaida agents who had infiltrated Syria via Iraq and acted on direct orders from al-Qaida commander Ayman al-Zawahiri himself. Today, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress that these Syrian attenats bore “all the earmarks [sic] of an al-Qaida-like attack.”

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