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Deadly twin bombings in Syria suggest growing Al Qaeda role in ongoing protests

Damascus , Tue, 01 May 2012 ANI

Damascus, May 1(ANI): Deadly twin suicide bombings in Idlib, Northwest Syria have suggested the growing role of al Qaeda and radical Sunni Islamist groups in the ongoing protests, a report has said.

The suicide blasts have also revived concerns that the unrest is spurring the growth of extremist Islamist groups, which makes Western officials fear that it will make it more difficult to end the crisis, The Wall Street Journals reports.

U.S. officials, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have said strikes on security and intelligence buildings in Damascus and Aleppo over the past four months have resembled al Qaeda attacks and suggested that extremists, mainly al Qaeda insurgents from Iraq, may have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups.

"We are increasingly concerned that these attacks are beyond the control of the Syrian opposition...that other groups are involved," a U.S. official said.

Many analysts also point to an increasingly visible strain of conservative Islamist ideology visible in the protest movement, slogans and posters.

But some warn that extremists seek a bigger footprint with the US foreseeing a prominent Al Qaeda's role in Syrian protests, a senior U.S. intelligence official.

Officials also warn that the Syrian regime is likely to use suicide attacks to justify its continued armed crackdown on the opposition despite its commitment to an April 12 cease-fire brokered by Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League joint special envoy. (ANI)

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