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May 28, 4:05 AM EDT

Syria's al-Qaida chief says no plans to attack the West

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BEIRUT (AP) -- The leader of al-Qaida's branch in Syria says they have no plans to attack the West and denies that the so-called Khorasan group exists.

The Syrian known as Abu Muhammed al-Golani, who heads the Nusra Front, says the aim of his group is to march to the capital Damascus and bring down President Bashar Assad's government.

He said in an interview with the Al-Jazeera TV aired Wednesday night that "there is nothing called Khorasan group. We heard this from the Americans only."

Washington says the Khorasan group is a special cell within Nusra focused on plotting attacks against Western interests.

Al-Golani said that the directions they have received from al-Qaida's leadership are "not to use Syria for attacks against the West and Europe."

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