During his television appearance on Sunday morning, Attorney General Eric Holder noted that there is apprehension within President Barack Obama's administration that Islamists from the European Union and the United States who are supporting violent jihad in Syria's civil war are being tutored by Yemeni terrorists in bomb making, according to ABC's "This Week."
Intelligence analysts in Washington, D.C., claim that about 7,000 -- out of about 23,000 -- violent Islamists operating in Syria are foreign fighters, mostly from European countries, especially Great Britain, according to an Examiner news story.
Charles Farr, Britain’s top counterterrorism official, has warned that the security threat from the jihadists fighting in Syria is now an additional threat facing the British police and intelligence agencies. The British Home Secretary Theresa May told the Daily Telegraph that from among the 1,000 Westerners fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over 300 are British nationals, according to an Examiner report in May.
Holder met with his counterparts from European justice ministries last week in London and told them he's concerned not only about homegrown jihadists warring against dictator Bashir al-Assad in Syria, but when they return to their home countries they may perpetrate terrorist attack in major cities such as New York..
Terrorist groups have successfully recruited Westerners to fight overseas and the al-Qaida-linked organizations send them back home with missions against their own nations. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has said Syria has become a matter of homeland security.
The FBI has dozens of ongoing terrorism investigations underway that are targeting American Muslims who have gone to Syria and made their way back home, Holder said.
Intelligence that bomb makers in Yemen have been joining forces in Syria with the foreign fighters is particularly concerning, Holder added.
"That's a deadly combination, where you have people who have the technical know-how along with the people who have this kind of fervor to give their lives in support of a cause that is directed at the United States and directed at its allies," Holder said in the interview.