Al Qaeda in Syria acquires sarin: Russia concerned for Sochi Olympics

DEBKAfile Special Report – 14-12-2013 – 08 Dec. Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov announced Monday, Dec. 4, the formation of a special unit to deal with “Syrian radicals”- both within the North Caucasus republic and abroad. “Members… will be ready to interfere in the Syrian conflict if authorized by the Russian president.”

Russian and Syrian intelligence fear al Qaeda in Syria is plotting a spectacular attack on the Sochi Winter Olympics in February, possibly using sarin.This was one of the main topics of discussion between Binyamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin in Moscow Nov. 20.

According to a report by investigative journalist Seymor Hersh, in an article published in London on Dec. 8, Al Qaeda in Syria has got hold of sarin nerve gas and is ready to use it.

He quoted “a large number of American intelligence officials” who said that “the chemical attack on the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta on Aug. 21, in which more than 150 people died, may not have been carried out by Bashar Assad’s army but by Jabhat al Nusra [Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch].” The sources quoted by Hersh charged that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry knew this and deliberately “manipulated the intelligence.”