Last night I wrote about the “Khorasan Group” — the name used to describe operatives sent by al Qaeda to Syria for the purpose of plotting attacks against the West. In discussing the unusual name attached to these operatives, I quoted two experts on terrorism who speculated in the Washington Post that the name was supplied by Washington. Based on this reporting, I concluded:
Perhaps further investigation will reveal that the name Khorasan Group is not simply a device through which Team Obama hopes to sustain the fiction that it rendered core al Qaeda impotent. But right now, that looks like it might well be the best explanation for the name.
In any event, Obama’s reports of core al Qaeda’s demise now look like the national security equivalent of “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
Today, the invaluable Tom Joscelyn informed me that the name doesn’t come from Washington. He says: “Although they haven’t used Khorasan publicly to describe themselves, that name is actually taken from the Khorasan shura with al Qaeda, which is a specific advisory council.”
The Post’s sources emphasized that the name isn’t familiar in Syria. But, according to Tom, that’s because this is an internal AQ body, and not something marketed to the public.
Based on Tom’s track record in these matters, I take this as the authoritative word on the subject.
UPDATE: Tom has more on the Khorasan Group here.