Saturday, September 27, 2014

Syria Iraq: Closeup on Al Nusra Front

The Al Nusra Front (or Jabhat al-Nusra) was reportedly caught off guard when they were targeted along with ISIL and Khorasan by recent American airstrikes in Syria. The Al Nusra Front had developed a reputation for being one of the most effective forces fighting against the Syrian regime; and in some cases, they had fought alongside moderate rebels against Assad's military. The American airstrikes have prompted Al Nusra to say that the West and its allies have joined forces in a "crusader" campaign against Islam. The Al Nusra Front is reportedly considering joining ISIL.

There are a lot of implications here, but I'm going to focus on why Al Nusra was targeted along with ISIL.

Al Nusra is an al-Qaeda splinter group, fully condoned by al-Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahiri. Note that Zawahiri and ISIL head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi are not getting along, and ISIL is a splinter group from al-Qaeda as well.

Al Nusra and ISIL share the same ideology and rigid Islamic beliefs and both employ violent methods such as suicide bombings, beheadings, and mass executions. Just as ISIL wants to establish a caliphate, Al Nusra also dreams of creating its own caliphate.

Both Al Nusra and ISIL are involved in kidnapping and holding hostages for ransom or for trading with one another. I believe one of the American hostages who unfortunately was a victim of beheading by ISIL had initially been kidnapped by Al Nusra. Al Nusra has kidnapped Syrian nuns, Orthodox Bishops, Lebanese personnel, the head of the Free Syrian Army's Deraa Military Council, civilians from al-Thaala village near Umm Walad in Daraa, an American journalist Peter Theo Curtis, 45 Fijian Peacekeepers, and many more.

Ironically, one of the demands of Al Nusra, as a condition for the release of the Fijians, was to have the name Al Nusra removed from the UN Terrorist List.

Al-Nusra has been involved in publishing a massive encyclopedia called "Lighting the Path in the Knowledge of Explosives." They have published a manual for grenades and homemade bombs.

The list goes on proving Al Nusra is a terrorist group. This link to Stanford University provides detailed information about Al Nusra. Here's a short quote:

"Al-Nusra practices Shariah law and aims to implement it in Syria should they gain control of the government. As of January 30, 2013, al-Nusra has implemented Shariah in a town in eastern Syria close to the Iraqi border. However, it seeks to gain popular support by distancing itself from ISIS, and has largely followed more moderate governing practices while branding itself as a more moderate Islamic alternative to ISIS."

What I'm saying is that even though Al Nusra did a good job insinuating themselves into the moderate Syrian rebel group, Al Nusra has their own agenda, which is not really about the welfare of the Syrian people.

They are, as the saying goes, "wolves in sheep's clothing."

I quote from "Confessions of a French Jihadist in Syria": "I was not considered a traitor when I went from ISIL to al-Nusra. The two groups are not enemies. You are free to choose which side you want to fight."

Photos courtesy of Fijileaks

Read also
The Case of the Filipino UN Peacekeepers
Islamic State: Memorable Quotes from the Women of ISIL
What's in a Name? Isis vs. ISIS
Syrian Jihadists behead Catholic priest, 2 others
Al Qaeda group executes Lebanese soldier
Turkey's Role in the kidnapping of the Syrian Bishops
ISIL Kills Woman Activist

Tags: Nusra, ISIL, al Qaeda, Zawahri, Jabhat al-Nusra, Syria, Iraq, Middle East, Islamic State, Air Strikes

This is all for now,

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