TSA chief: Khorasan a threat to US flights

Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole said Friday that the Khorasan Group, an al Qaeda cell in northern Syrian, represented "a clear and present danger" to commercial flights to Europe and the United States.

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"The stakes are real and the threats are high," Pistole told to members of the Aero Club, an organization that promotes the aviation industry, at a luncheon. "I see the Khorasan Group as being a very capable, determined enemy who was very much focused on getting somebody or something on a plane bound for Europe or the United States."

With about 275 airports worldwide with direct flights to the U.S., heightened security measures are being implemented at "a couple dozen" airports in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, targeting those that might be used by a terrorist to fly to the U.S, he said.

The top aviation security noted that U.S. airstrikes this week against the militant group were intended to disrupt an "imminent attack or attack entering the last phases of execution."