As if Islamic State was not terrifying enough, we now have the Khorasan group to worry about. The Khorasan group is a cell of veteran Al Qaeda fighters now based in Syria, and it’s making the US extremely anxious. The cell is seen by US intelligence as a threat to the homeland. While the Khorasan name is new, those behind the group are not. This is Al Qaeda making a comeback. They have rebranded themselves and are present in the most important conflict zone of our times. It is intensely aware of its need to win support globally and try and get localised support wherever it can. They have been outperformed by the Islamic State, and seem to be hungry for the limelight.

Khorasan is an extremist Sunni Salafist group, and not dissimilar to Islamic State in their theology. But the IS has been focused on establishing an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East, while Khorasan’s attention is fixed on attacking the West. The US is in panic for good reason over this new name. IS is also changing its goals. It has recently encouraged home-grown extremists to pick up arms and strike Western countries. Experts say that Khorasan is ahead of IS in its capacity to carry out foreign attacks and is Al Qaeda’s “A” team.

On September 22, the US conducted some surprise bombings on ISIS militants. This was an extensive operation that included assistance from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Qatar. But relatively quietly, all by itself, the US was also bombing Khorasan targets as a threat from the group was “imminent.” The CNN reports that the US had intelligence on this, and that Khorasan was near the “end of their planning.” What type of plan? When and how? These are questions whose answers we will never be privy to. But with such US handling, this might be big, and something to keep a keen eye on as the geopolitical landscape of the world changes.