Lori Hickey


An American citizen has reportedly carried out a suicide bombing in Syria on behalf of the al Qaeda-linked terrorist organization, al-Nusra Front. The group took credit for the attack on Twitter earlier today. The incident is believed to be the first time an American citizen carried out a suicide attack in the ongoing Syrian conflict. However, it is not the first time a suicide attack has been attributed to an American citizen working on behalf of an al Qaeda affiliate. Between 2009 and 2011, three Americans were confirmed to have carried out similar style attacks in Somalia on behalf of the al-Shabaab terrorist group.

The identity of the suspected suicide bomber has not yet been confirmed. He has only been referred to by his Arabic name, Abu Hurayra al-Amriki, which means Abu Hurayra the American. The attack was one of four suicide bombings targeting Syrian government sites in Jabal al-Arbaa’in, located in the Idlib Province, where heavy fighting has been occurring. Reports indicate that the suspect may be an American of Palestinian descent.

MSA's Research and Intelligence Analysis (RIA) Group has been monitoring this situation closely and has identified the following implications:

      • Recently, there has been an increase in threats against western countries by al Qaeda-linked extremist groups. 

      • The concern is that foreign fighters in Syria could return to their home countries to conduct attacks on behalf of terrorist organizations. 

      • Additionally, hundreds of fighters hold western passport, which would allow them to travel throughout the U.S. and Europe without attracting attention. 

      • This week’s attack is likely to be used for propaganda purposes to gather support and potentially recruit homegrown terrorists within western nations.

      • Terrorist organizations are already believed to be taking steps towards placing operatives within the U.S. and Europe. 

      • Additionally, the groups are encouraging lone-wolves and small groups to act on their behalf. 

      • As a result, western countries, especially the U.S. and Britain, are expected to increase the effort to track and assess threats from militants returning from Syria.


MSA Security's Research and Intelligence Analysis Group provides real-time intelligence on events and worldwide threats as they evolve.


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