WASHINGTON: US Attorney General Eric Holder said on Sunday that intelligence suggesting Islamist bombmakers from Yemen have teamed up in Syria is “more frightening than anything” he had seen before.
In an interview with ABC News, Holder called the alleged cooperation 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 bombmakers 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 link-up 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 added in the interview broadcast on Sunday. “In some ways, it’s more frightening than anything I think I’ve seen as attorney general.”
Holder’s comments come in the wake of increased security for flights heading to the United States.
Earlier this month, US authorities announced new security measures for air passengers from Europe and the Middle East. One such measure was that smartphones and electronic devices must be able to be switched on before travel.
The tighter security was introduced due to fears that militants linked to Al-Qaeda are developing new explosives that could be slipped onto planes undetected.
ABC cited a source at the US Department of Homeland Security as as saying the unspecified threat was “different and more disturbing than past aviation plots.”