Americans may be fighting alongside terrorists, officials say - CBS46 News

Americans may be fighting alongside ISIS terrorists, officials believe

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An ISIS terrorist propaganda video shows a burning American flag. (Source: CNN) An ISIS terrorist propaganda video shows a burning American flag. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - There's growing concern that Americans may be joining militant groups fighting in Iraq and Syria.

U.S. officials say jihadists with American passports could make it easier for terrorists to attack America.

A terrorist video looks like a movie trailer.

It says 'coming soon' and shows an American flag burning and a passport burning.

One billboard reads: 'The story of an American muhajir in Sham'- which is 'Syria'.

The militant's blurred image appears, and then you hear him talking about 'haq'- which means divine obligation.

"It is haq on you to protect your brothers and oppress. It is haq' on you to fight," he says.

A U.S. intelligence official says the man with the blurred face is Moner Mohammad Abusalha - a 22-year-old jihadist from Vero Beach, FL, who blew himself up in a truck-bomb attack in Syria last month, killing 36.

"The point the group is trying to make is that, despite that the United States is leading the war on terror, 'We welcome Americans. We have Americans. We actually would rather Americans, because they are the best poster-boys for propaganda," said Laith Alkhouri with Flashpoint Global Partners.

According to a source in U.S. intelligence, it stands to reason that some Americans who've joined the broader fight in Syria have linked up with ISIS, the brutal terrorist group now targeting Baghdad, Iraq.

The official could not say whether those fighters are in Iraq right now, or in Syria.

U.S. lawmakers and analysts warn that the next 9/11-style attacks could come from Iraq or Syria. Militants there with American passports could have an easier path to attacking America's homeland, and ISIS might soon have the motivation to do that.

"Direct U.S. engagement against ISIS does raise this question about whether they will turn to the U.S. and attempt to attack the homeland, certainly more than they have today," said Seth Jones of the RAND Corporation.

And the shadowy, vicious leader of ISIS may have already warned about that.

Col. Ken King was the U.S. commander at Camp Bucca in Iraq when U.S. forces released Abubakr al-Baghdadi in 2009.

"He looked over to us and, as he left, he said, 'See you guys in New York,'" King said. "Today I believe there is some merit in his words, in the fact that he has a significant force, he has a significant amount of money, after going through Mosul and Tikrit, and he has gained some momentum in his movement south."

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