Everybody who is observing the Syrian civil war knows that Al-Qa’ida has a presence in Syria, this is not a “conspiracy theory”, but for many
presents as an uncomfortable fact and may try to refute such claims so let’s clear that up right away.
The two bombings in Damascus in December … and then the two additional bombings in Aleppo, both of which were targeted against security and
intelligence buildings … had all the earmarks of an al Qaeda-like attack. So we believe that al Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into
Hague said security assessments had indicated the presence in Syria of al-Qaida, a group disavowed by the main opposition force, the Free Syria Army,
but who regime officials insist are at the vanguard of a now raging insurgency.
"We … have reason to believe that terrorist groups affiliated to al-Qaida have committed attacks designed to exacerbate the violence, with serious
implications for international security," said Hague in a speech to the Commons.
So let’s all start with the agreement that there is indeed an Al-Qa’ida presence inside Syria.
The real question then is what does this mean for Syria; some have argued that the presence of Al-Qa’ida in Syria coupled with the wests support of
the Free Syria Army (FSA) amounts to proof that the West is supporting Al-Qa’ida they ask the question, “Is the West supporting Al-Qa’ida in
Syria?”. It is the intention of this thread to further explore this claim.
Perhaps it is first relevant to explain why Al-Qa’ida would bother with Syria, It would seem that what has happened is that some members of
Al-Qa’ida saw an opportunity to do what they failed to do in Iraq and elsewhere, create a pure Islamic state. In keeping with the ideology of
Al-Qa’ida they seek to create a true Islamic state to propel the pan-Arabic state in Syria though the teachings of various Islamic scholars (it is
not the remit of this thread to fully discuss the Al-Qa’ida ideology). There are however other advantages in Syria for Al-Qa’ida it presents a
huge opportunity to re-establish themselves as a major player in Arabic politics and let’s not forget the opportunity to take on new recruits and
most tempting of all access to chemical weapons. For this reason they have been increasing involved in the Syrian civil war, the leader of Al-Qa’ida
has commented on Syria, praising the forces standing against Assad yet at the same time criticising America, just take it from their leader
What is also important to highlight is where these Al-Qa’ida members now in Syria came from. The answer is that they were originally part of a group
called the “Organisation of Jihads Base in Mesopotamia” better known in the west as Al-Qa’ida in Iraq, it makes sense the presence of
Al-Qa’ida in Iraq has been known for years. This assertion is backed up by statements made by Iraqi Foreign Minister
Hoshyar Zebari who
told the Associated Press that members of al-Qaida in Iraq had been joining up with a Syrian radical Islamist group called al-Nusra.
Some members of the FSA have even started joining up to Al-Nusra, one such man called Abu Khuder once a solider in the Syrian Boarder force was
interviewed by the Guardian, according to him
"Al-Qaida has experience in these military activities and it knows how to deal with it." After the bombing, Abu Khuder split with the FSA and pledged
allegiance to al-Qaida's organisation in Syria, the Jabhat al Nusra or Solidarity Front.
He let his beard grow and adopted the religious rhetoric of a jihadi, becoming a commander of one their battalions.
"The Free Syrian Army has no rules and no military or religious order. Everything happens chaotically," he said.
"Al-Qaida has a law that no one, not even the emir, can break."
"The FSA lacks the ability to plan and lacks military experience. That is what [al-Qaida] can bring. They have an organisation that all countries have
So who is this “Al-Nusra” group then or to give them their full mane Jabhat al-Nusra li-Ahl al-Sham. In Brief Al-Nusra became known in December
2011 when there was a coordinated suicide bombing in Damascus that killed 44 people, initially all sides claimed it was the act of Al-Qa’ida however
then in January a new group, Al-Nasra claimed responsibility in a video in which they said that they also had a Jihadist ideology and where made of up
foreigners. Since there existence became publicized in January of last year their growth has been impressive. They gained a reputation as the
“commandoes of the Rebel forces” and are one of the best and fastest growing groups in Syria. After fighting in Aleppo and a raid on a TV station
just south of Damascus they have also taken responsibility for over 40 deadly suicide attacks. Their reputation also suggests they may be made up of
members of Al-Qa’ida, they seem to be very well trained, have the same ideology as Al-Qa’ida and conduct similar style attacks, such as
coordinated suicide attacks. In addition to this Al-Qa’ida has also distributed the propaganda of the group via its websites. The identity if their
leader remains something of a bit of a mystery however according to one report (worth a read) into Al-Nusra (JN as they abbreviate the name):
The leader of JN is a man who goes by the name of Abu Mohammad al-Julani. A jihadist source confirmed to us that his name reflects his family ties to
the area of the Golan Heights not currently under Israeli occupation. Considerable doubt still exists about the identity of al-Julani, and sources
tell us that his face is always covered in meetings, even with other leaders. Al-Julani is thought to be a Syrian jihadist with suspected close ties
to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). His details are a closely-guarded secret, so much so that most JN members do not know much about
their leader. This tactic of isolation follows the AQI model of behaviour, in which leaders keep themselves away from the media, only associate with
specific military units and ensure that their movements are heavily dominated by security arrangements. Our investigation has indicated that al-Julani
could be a Syrian member of Al-Zarqawi’s core followers during the campaign in Iraq. Although al-Julani’s identity remains unconfirmed, by
investigating al-Zarqawi's old network and using the process of elimination, we have narrowed down possible candidates to one individual. This man is
mysterious, having been reported killed twice, in Iraq in 2006 and Syria in 2008. There is debate over whether his nationality is Iraqi or Syrian.
Both of the experts we consulted, one a journalist and the other a retired senior intelligence official in Iraq, shared our theory on the identity of
al-Julani. Both spoke of the ambiguity of the fate of this man, and neither was convinced of his death. As our investigation is still on-going, we
will not release the name of our suspect.
edit on 8-1-2013 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)
Interestingly there has not been any official announcement that Al-Nusra is “Al-Qa’ida in Syria” by either group although one should not be
surprised by this. Many groups now have the “Al-Qa’ida” name however few of those groups started out with the name and prior to their official
announcement they were known to be linked. What is clear is that Al-Nusra has all the hallmarks of brand “Al-Qa’ida” as there historical
narrative shows. Some commentators have suggested that there could be another reason for Al-Nusra not fighting under the Al-Qa’ida flag, because
Al-Qa’ida has something of a branding problem amongst some in the Middle East and as such they are now fighting under this new name “Al-Nusra”
to avoid the negative connotations that go with the name “Al-Qa’ida”. Despite this the government of America has designated Al-Nusra a foreign
terrorist organisation as of late 2012 saying that Al-Nusra is
"an attempt by AQI to hijack the struggles of the Syrian people for its own malign purposes….
"AQI emir Abu Du'a is in control of both AQI and al-Nusra. Du'a also issues strategic guidance to al-Nusra's emir, Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani, and tasked
him to begin operations in Syria,"
However despite being of of-shot of Al-Qa’ida in Iraq, the FSA has a cautious welcome for Al-Nusra. What is also vital to understand is that despite
this Al-Nusra is not part of the FSA. Al-Nusra is a Islamist movement, the FSA is a mostly nationalistic movement however both groups for now have a
sheared goal, the removal of Assad form power. That is the foundation of their cooperation, a common goal it is not because the FSA is an Islamist
movement which Al-Nusra has no influence over the FSA and vice-versa despite them having a close working relationship. However what is also clear is
that the two groups do have many disagreements for example Al-Nusra is opposed to any western intervention in Syria and the FSA disapproves some of
As such when the West is talking of providing support to the FSA they are not saying that in supporting the FSA they are also supporting Al-Nusra
(Al-Qa’ida). It would actually be illegal for America to provide Al-Nusra with any support because of their current status as a terrorist
organisation. Part of the Wests reasoning in supporting the FSA is to have some control over the future of Syria, if they were to provide no support
to the FSA then Islamist groups such as Al-Nusra would rise up to take the lead in the rebellion. This would also mean they would hold a strong
possession in a post-Assad Syria and in turn get their hands on his weapons, specifically and most worryingly, his WMDs. For this reason the West has
chosen a more moderate side that they can work with after (if ever) Assad is gone, the FSA because they most certainly cannot work with the violent
Islamists of Al-Qa’ida.
Therefore to answer the question I proposed at the start of this thread “Is the West supporting Al-Qa’ida in Syria” my answer based on my
understanding would have to be a definitive NO!.
edit on 8-1-2013 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-1-2013 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason
We know Al-CIAeda is in Syria, which is why the so called "rebels" keep refusing invitations by the government to have a dialogue. Cant have any more
chaos if the civil war ends...
At this point, it should be clear that the "rebels" are US/Israel backed thugs as they were in Libya. So we're supposed to believe that its yet
another "coincidence" that the bad guys are on the same side
as the US...
Syria is the gateway to Iran and occupation of the entire Middle East.
The US is in the process of a collapse, they need more wars, more distractions overseas.
edit on 8-1-2013 by gladtobehere because: (no reason given)
I know many hold such a view, but when you actually take time to look into the role of Al-Qa’ida in Syria it just doesn’t stand up my OP really
does clear that up quite clearly I think but if you still wish to hold such a view then that’s fine.
At this point, it should be clear that the "rebels" are US/Israel backed thugs as they were in Libya
To some degree I do agree with this statement the FSA are backed by America, I don’t know if I would use the word “thugs” but they’re
definitely no angels.
If however you mean by that Al-Qa’ida and by extension Al-Nusra then I am sorry but I would have to disagree most of the funding for Al-Nusra
appears to be coming from Saudi-Arabia or Qutar not America and Israel.
Congratulation’s by the way, you are probably going to win the honour of “most starts for disagreeing with the OP first”
edit on 8-1-2013 by OtherSideOfTheCoin because: (no reason given)
I agree with you that minorities are being mistreated in Syria however I fail to understand how this is significant to the role that Al-Nusra is
playing in the conflict unless you are saying that they are also responsible for these atrocities, I have no doubt they probably are.
Ok firstly, where is a reference that Al-Nusra means Al-Qaeda? I got this.
Al-Nusra Front, also referred to as Jabhat al-Nusra (Arabic: جبهة النصرة لأهل الشام Jabhat al-Nusrah li-Ahl al-Sham,
meaning: "The Support Front for the People of Syria").
This group are operating mainly in Aleppo and have been accused whilst taking responsibility for numerous suicide and car bombings across the country.
They claim that their attacks are not aimed at Syrian civilians but I find that very hard to believe. Last week the Aleppo University was bombed and
this group have been blamed. With that, 80+ students and refugess were killed and the one thing that makes me believe a group like this committed that
terrorist attack is the fact that the university is in a regime held area. Why would the SAA bomb the university, it doesn't make sense.
A masked man was interviewed during the week and he gave some interesting information about the activities of the group. They claim to not attack
minority groups including Christians.. The report goes on saying
This was the first broadcast interview by a member of Jabhat al-Nusra's leadership. The emir was being cautious. This was a Syrian fight, not part
of a wider jihad. They had no hostile intent to any other states - as long as they did not support the regime.
There would be no sectarian attacks against Syria's minorities. Christians, especially, had nothing to fear.
"Our religion allows us to marry Christians, eat your food and live amongst you. We have many fatwas telling us not to exploit the Christians'
blood and possessions. Christ is our prophet too - how much do you love Christ? I love him more than you do."
I don't know whether to take his words for granted but it is possibe that other groups inside Syria are committing crimes against the likes of
Christians, Palestinians etc and this group may not be responsible for attacking minority groups. As much as I could believe that, I still don't
believe they are not resposible for the deaths of Syrian civilians.
It is well known that this group has been blacklisted on the international stage but what I find interesting about this particular group is that they
are a Syrian based group. We have all sorts of groups running around in Syria, including groups with foreign fighters yet the US blacklists this
group? I don't know, I think the attitude of this group towards he west will not help the agenda in the end and if they were to take control of Syria,
they would be easy pickings for the West if anything was to turn pear shaped.
I am not saying that Al-Nusra “means” Al-Qa’ida I am saying that Al-Nusra is an off-shot of Al-Qa’ida in Iraq, that is actually what the
Americans have them on the list of designated terrorist organisations because they believe they are attempting to hijack the Syrian revolution and the
last thing the Americans want to find is Al-Qa’ida with chemical weapons.
Just some news that’s came out that Al-Nusra and Al-Qa’ida in Iraq have formally announced they have joined up.
one of the major drivers behind American foreign policy in Syria has been to support the secular rabbles to put off an islamist takeover of the
country. The Americans know that Assad is going to fall and that they need to appear to be backing the people rather than the tyrant but they know
that when he falls there will be a power vacuum. America want to make sure it is there people who fill this vacuum, they want to ensure that it is
filled by secular individuals sympathetic to America. What they don’t want is for a Al-Qa’ida group to fill the a power vacuum left by Assad,
taking control of its people and most importantly its WMDs. As such the merger of these two groups ramps up the pressure on America to tip the scales
in the balance of the secular rebels, and therefore I would not be surprise if in the next week or two we see Amierca offering up yet more support to
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