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At least 6,000 jihadist rebels in Syria, many affiliated with al-Qaida, now pose a major security risk to the United States and Europe, according to Obama administration officials and Mideast experts.

Most of the news coverage of the emerging threat fails to mention U.S. and Western support, including weapons transfers, to the Syrian rebels. Al-Qaida-linked groups reportedly are prominent among the rebel ranks.

On Tuesday, Michael Morell, the Central Intelligence Agency’s second-in-command, warned in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that al-Qaida groups in Syria, along with the civil war itself, pose the greatest threat to U.S. national security.

The Wall Street Journal reported Morell said there are now more foreigners flowing into Syria each month to fight with al-Qaida-affiliated groups than there were going to Iraq to fight with al-Qaida at the height of the war there.

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