Talk:Jabhat Al-Nusra

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More murder...

50 Christians murdered: Facebook -- Petri Krohn (talk) 22:24, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Didn't find anything more detailed right away. One site mentions 50 Christians killed, in total, in Homs as of Dec. 14, last year. --Caustic Logic (talk) 00:08, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
Based on another Facebook posting it seems these people were only kidnapped. In Syria, what's the difference? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:38, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
125-235 Alawites only kidnapped in Aqrab. Still not heard from since Dec. 11.

Quilliam Foundation

Good add, CE. I was thinking this new report needed to be added, but clearly I didn't do it yet. This page is soooo inadequate for such a big aspect but hey, atleast it exists, unlike most others that should. Quilliam Press Release, Jan.8: QUILLIAM RELEASES NEW STRATEGIC BRIEFING ‘JABHAT AL-NUSRA’ A video: Compiles CNN report featuring Quilliam's Benotman, a slightly more heroic Al-Jazeera report, and a snarky Addounia one. Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front): Reports on Terror Group from CNN & Al-Jazeera... Purpose Explained!


Relations with al-Qaeda and ISIS


From Kavkaz Center:

Jabhat Al-Nusra merges with Al Qaeda in Iraq and pledges allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri

Publication time: 10 April 2013, 17:47

The Mujahideen of the Islamic State of Iraq (Al-Qaeda in Iraq) announced the merger with Jabhat Al-Nusra (the Victory Front or the Support Front for the People of Sham) and the creation of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, writes UmmaNews.

The appropriate appeal of the Emir of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was posted in Islamic segment of the Internet.

In the 21-minute long audio Emir al-Bagdaadi announced that Jabhat Al-Nusra is an offshoot of Al Qaeda in Iraq, and the Emir of the Victory Front in Syria gave bayat, or oath of allegiance, to the leader of Iraqi Jihad:

"It is time to announce to the Levantine people and the whole world that Jabhat al-Nusra is merely an extension and part of the Islamic State of Iraq", said Emir al-Baghdadi.

According to him, now the Islamic State of Iraq will be renamed as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and the Victory Front will be part of it.

Al-Jazeera writes in this connection that now Emir of Iraq will lead Jihad not only in Iraq but also in Syria.

In response, Emir of Jabhat Al-Nusra Abu Mohammad al-Golani sent a counter message and said that Syrian Mujahideen give an oath of allegiance (Bayat) to the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri:

"The sons of al-Nusra Front pledge allegiance to Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri", media quoted the statement of Emir of the Victory Front.

In an interview with AP a senior leader of the Shiite/apostate Iraqi intelligence said that the puppet regime, they say, "has always known that Al Qaeda in Iraq is directing Jabhat Al-Nusra".

The anonymous puppet said the Syrian and Iraqi Mujahideen announced their union because of "political, logistical and geographical circumstance". Al-Qaeda, reportedly, provides 50% of its budget to fund the Mujahideen in Syria.

According to the ringleader of the intelligence, the Shiite apostate regime of Iraq will take "strict security measures" to prevent the further merger of the fronts.

Al-Jazeera notes in this regard that the union of Jabhat Al-Nusra with al-Qaeda and the oath of allegiance of Syrian Mujahideen to Ayman al-Zawahiri will cause strong concern in the ranks of the secular rebels, as well as the West and puppet Arab regimes.

Bilal Saab, director of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, North America, said that the oath of allegiance of Syrians to Emir of Al Qaeda and the creation of the United Front of Jihad in Iraq and Syria will make the Mujahideen "even more formidable force".

"I think you're going to have a pooling of resources, a more massive influx of fighters coming from Iraq into Syria. It will help them better position themselves in the period after Assad. It will certainly better help them defeat the Syrian regime more quickly", said Saab.

"It does matter for them that they're getting more materiel and more people and more expertise, especially Iraqi veterans who have really been vetted on the battlefield and who have fought coalition forces since 2003", he added.

Shiite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki said in an interview published in the western press on Tuesday that the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham "can be more dangerous to both our countries than anything we've seen up to now".

AP indicates that the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham can become a "dominant player" in the Syrian Jihad and, after the overthrow of Assad in Syria, to take power into their own hands.

Meanwhile, the Jewish analyst Aaron Zelin, who works in the Washington Research Institute, referring to his sources, says that the establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham was conceived and carried out by the General Command of the Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan-Pakistan.

Western intelligence community claims that Sheikh al-Zawahiri personally ordered the merger of Al Qaeda in Iraq and Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria.

Department of Monitoring Kavkaz Center

Breaking apart?

After Abu Mohammed al-Joulani’s strange semi-rebuttal to Abu Bakr on April 10, both groups fell silent, and everybody seemed to be waiting for an explanation. None came. Now, suddenly, several media reports have been published, suggesting that the dispute hasn’t been resolved but is in fact growing worse. In some of these reports, purported Jabhat al-Nosra fighters even talk about the group splitting apart or losing members, although they differ on who is leaving and for what reason.

Latests news, al-Nusra merges with FSA:

Does this mean al-Nusra merges into FSA? ...or FSA merges into al-Nusra? ...or FSA merges into AQI / Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Could be, that the mergers are those al Nusra members who do not want to be part of ISIS. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:09, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Zawahiri dismantles ISIS/ISIL

"The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is to be abolished, while the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) remains functioning," he said. Zawahiri said the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, "has made a mistake by establishing the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant without asking for our permission, or even informing us." It was not immediately clear when he made the remarks. Meanwhile, Zawahiri added that the leader of the al-Nusra Front in Syria, Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani, "has made a mistake by announcing his rejection of the ISIS, without taking our permission, or even informing us." He said the rule of ISI will be confined to Iraq, while the al-Nusra Front in Syria will be "an independent branch of al-Qaeda that reports to the general command."

Tape as usually "found" by SITE. --CE (talk) 21:58, 9 November 2013 (UTC)


Just one example:

This has JaN established in late 2011, when most say late 2012 (tho DIA heard about a precursor Jaish al-Nusra in existence before August 2012) and says they've "killed" (meaning illegally executed, "violations") only 98 "armed men" nationwide in that whole time "until the date of 10.05.2015" Average: 28 executions per year. And they've "killed" 279 civilians, with area breakdowns (31 children, 53 women). How blame was decided, etc. is not explained. In contrast, ISIS executed 2,911 armed men and 2,157 civilians, only "from 09.04.2013." The site also claims to be anti-"Assad" so it presents a bleak picture. Both calculations, lacking the huge numbers of deaths adding up to around 300,000 by now... and all but a few hundred of the women and children singled out so far ... are clearly based on accepting that all the civilians and (defected!) soldiers, etc. massacred in incidents blamed on "Assad" really were killed by "Assad." Much of that in truth will fall on JaN, little on ISIS (they get blamed, and don't usually bother trying to avoid it), and the rest will fall on other faction of FSA and other related groups. But looking at this simplified breakdown, al-Nusra winds up looking like the lesser of three evils, with ISIS a distant 2nd and "Assad" in a close third place. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:04, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Al-Nusra fighting ISIS

482 people have been killed between Friday 3/1/2014, when the clashes began, and midnight of Thursday 9/1/2014. The victims include 85 civilians, 21 were executed by the ISIS fighters and the rest were killed in the crossfire during the clashes.
240 combatants from the islamist and non-islamist rebel battalions, killed during the clashes, car bombs, and attacks on vehicles in the provinces of Aleppo, Raqqah, Hama and Idlib. More than 20 were executed by the ISIS in Aleppo.
157 ISIS fighters were also amongst those killed. 47 of them, as well as members of Jund al-Aqsa, were summarily executed by rebels in the Jabal al-Zawiya area of Reef Idlib, as confirmed by medical and local sources, while the others were killed by clashes.
There are definite reports that the ISIS executed tens of civilians and rebels held in the ISIS detention centres. Reports that several other ISIS fighters have been executed by the rebels, particularly in Idlib province. A video emerged and was claimed by activists to be footage of rebels killed by ISIS fighters, but it turned out that the bodies in the video were of ISIS fighters who were killed by rebel battalions. There are tens of casualties from these clashes the SOHR is yet to fully document.
We at the SOHR have taken an oath to the Syrian people that we will continue to document, verify and publish all human rights abuses and war crimes committed in our country by any and all sides. We will work tirelessly so that all those responsible for such crimes will have sufficient files so that they will be prosecuted in the relevant international courts.

US trainers?

Here is a fresh Jabhat Al-Nusra propaganda video from a training camps in Daraa. Extremely well organized and disciplined. In resistance organisations I have previously seen this level of refinement only in Hezbollah videos.

Makes me wonder who are the trainers and organizations of all this. Not Syrian, that we know. One signature clue would be the playground built by the trainers; is this Russian Spetsnaz, al Qaeda or US Navy Seals? I am no expert on military training, but I think the playground has a US feel to it.

Another clue is the foreign trainer seen unmasked but blurred at 7m 35s in the video. After the Boston bombing all conspiracy theorists were pointing to the khaki color tactical pants that the "Craft International" operatives were wearing at the bomb scene. Well, this guy is wearing the same pants. The question is, is this guy an American Craft International operative or is he a Qatari who just went to Craft International traning before he was sent to Syria? And yes, violence does solve problems. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 06:23, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

The video ("جبهة النصرة - معسكرات شهداء درعا" – Victory Front - the martyrs of Daraa camps) has been pulled from YouTube because "This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube's policy on violence." Copies are still available here, here, here, here, and here. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 09:15, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Burning bodies?

Besides the booby-trapped hideouts they leave behind, Nusra fighters have a disconcerting night-time ritual, they said.
“At night they burn the corpses that have accumulated during the day,” Abbas said.
“I still can’t find an explanation for this: What are they trying to do? Why are they hiding the identities of their fighters?” Jawad wondered.

Alternate Sponsorship Theories

(moved from front page)
  • Daily Star, Feb. 8 Iran assisting Al-Qaeda operations in Syria: U.S. Yes, they back/are the Shabiha, and also they are Al-Qaeda, at least partly. So says the U.S. Treasury Dept. as they continue the policy of flinging shit against a wall. Proof seems to be similar to that in Iraq - they can find one guy who's operating inside Iran, and so they're surely behind it. This guy, with Iranian help probably, helped AQ's main guy in Iran, "Yasin al-Suri," who's "believed to be responsible for overseeing Al-Qaeda efforts to transfer experienced fighters from Pakistan to Syria. The Treasury said he was involved in organizing and maintaining routes by which recruits could travel to Syria via Turkey." Well there you go, and poor ol' Turkey was just an innocent pawn of IRAN sending all these AQ guys through. Or, am I missing something here that makes this make the slightest bit of sense?
The Treasury department said the Al-Qaeda network in Iran “has facilitated the transfer of funds from Gulf-based donors to Al-Qaeda core and other affiliated elements, including the Nusra Front in Syria.”
“The Iran-based Al-Qaeda network has also leveraged an extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors to send money to Syria via Turkey,” the Treasury added.

The treasury also denies that getting their hands on Iran's state-owned central bank is the slightest motive for this new round of sanctions. (thanks to Syricide for the tweet)--Caustic Logic (talk) 23:59, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

There is bound to be some serious rebuttal to this, judging by the comments below that article. One decent link for now, and below, space for more.

  • Business Insider, February 1: Why Is (sic) Iran Letting A Top al Qaeda Operative Pump Fighters And Cash Into Syria? Al-Jazeera video report, picture of Mr. Suri (wanted, $10 million reward), and speculation that Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani "is personally handling Iran's extensive contributions to the Assad regime and has allowed al Qaeda operatives a degree of freedom in Iran since several arrived after 9/11." But the writer, Michael Kelly, acknowledges "[The] reported arrangement is puzzling, given Iran's staunch backing of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad." Confusingly, he adds: "Also of note is the potential role of Turkey, which has harbored al Qaeda financiers and allowed many extremists to pass from its territory into Syria" and who recently reached an agreement with Iran "on exchanging information and coordinating closely on the situation in Syria." Sounds suspicious, or rather, no it doesn't. Furthermore, it's mentioned that "Activists claim that one ISIS leader who was captured in Aleppo held an Iranian passport." And that gives it away. Even the al-Qaeda infighting to make Al-Nusra look better than ISIS, all part of the plot where Iran in behind al Qaeda after all. Maybe 9/11 even. And they're handing out genuine Iranian passports, allegedly. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:23, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

More sources...

Does this mean all the other Jihadi goups are 100% Syrian? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 01:42, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

The latest: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 23:22, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

...or make that 5000.

Foreign jihadi in Syria: -- Petri Krohn (talk) 05:37, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

January 2014

Events of 2011

  • Syria’s Crumbling Pluralism - Kapil Komireddi, The New York Times, August 3, 2012
    Washington is aware of the scale of the problem. As early as June 2011, Robert Stephen Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria, briefed his counterparts in Damascus about Al Qaeda’s penetration of the opposition forces.

Americans surprised al-Qaeda is not their ally!

The attack on Friday was mounted by the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda. It came a day after the Nusra Front captured two leaders and at least six fighters of Division 30, which supplied the first trainees to graduate from the Pentagon’s anti-Islamic State training program.
In Washington, several current and former senior administration officials acknowledged that the attack and the abductions by the Nusra Front took American officials by surprise and amounted to a significant intelligence failure.
While American military trainers had gone to great lengths to protect the initial group of trainees from attacks by Islamic State or Syrian Army forces, they did not anticipate an assault from the Nusra Front*. In fact, officials said on Friday, they expected the Nusra Front to welcome Division 30 as an ally in its fight against the Islamic State.
“This wasn’t supposed to happen like this,” said one former senior American official, who was working closely on Syria issues until recently, and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential intelligence assessments.

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 21:43, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

This one needs no commentary really, so it could just go on the front page. Oh, but I already put it there! under Relations with Islamic State. Might go better in its own section like this. And some rants might be in order - those could go here. --Caustic Logic (talk) 22:46, 3 August 2015 (UTC)

Petraeus, Plans to "Use" JaN

The heart of the idea stems from Petraeus’s experience in Iraq in 2007, when as part of a broader strategy to defeat an Islamist insurgency the U.S. persuaded Sunni militias to stop fighting with al Qaeda and to work with the American military.
The tactic worked, at least temporarily. But al Qaeda in Iraq was later reborn as ISIS, ...
...The idea that the U.S. would, 14 years (after 9/11), work with elements of al Qaeda’s Syrian branch was an irony too tough to stomach for most U.S. officials interviewed by The Daily Beast. They found Petraeus’s notion politically toxic, near-impossible to execute, and strategically risky.

Seems to me like their main problem with his plan is its openness, besides its directness. Because of course, "we" have been working with al Qaeda, or on the same side, at every chance before and after 9/11. They'll rather keep the existing arrangement where they steer the whole group into bleeding Syria however it does, rather than trying to work openly with certain "moderate" members they'd talk to, peel-off, and get killed. --Caustic Logic (talk) 23:29, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

2016 Todenhöfer Interview

Okay, I was trying to just cite this as one support among many for a point, but it seems muddled versions of it constitute all the supports.

  • Jürgen Todenhöfer, interview with "Jabhat al-Nusra" member "Abu Ezz" in Aleppo, run by Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Sept. 26. - heavy stuff. Interview date is of some interest.
  • Picked up by German Focus?
  • Widely disseminated for its unusually revelatory details.
    • examples (optional)
  • Moon of Alabama, Sept. 27 English translation.

Here, a space to discuss the content of this as possible evidence. There's a lot of juicy stuff - US direct support, advisers and direct missile transfers, all rebels are one with "Jabhat al-Nusra" - apparently even they don't really buy or use the new name, etc. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:33, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Interview Contested


Initial thoughts without much review: I'm not convinced this is fake or real, not inclined to accept the interview as legit. But until I get more sure, I'd still consider it as possibly valid and at least as an accurate-seeming caricature. And at the very least, if this is fake, it's a commendably played job, not too cartoon villain, and seeming pretty credible. --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:33, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

It's certainly not "fake" in the sense of made-up or the guy not being who he is claimed to be (which is a local commander, not high-ranking, according to Todenhöfer, as vetted by his contacts, which are as good as they get (Todenhöfer is the guy who traveled the "Islamic State" for ten days and came back in one piece)). How accurate his stated opinions are is another question. --CE (talk) 10:07, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
I can't say that's certain. The area is contested (see Spiegel), said to be government-held (with geo-location claims, which on review can be easily proven true or untrue, so it's on my to-do list). And the tweet above claims the commander matches with a known "Shabih" in the area (the match looks plausible but far from sure). It's only for sure not fake in that the interview happened, with photos and apparently a video. --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:06, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
SPIEGEL is full of it and in the business of trying to discredit Todenhöfer since ages. Didn't the author's name ring a bell for you? Christoph Reuter? Houla? --CE (talk) 12:30, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
No, didn't even look that close yet. That's a definite minus. But if it was somehow a fake (how and by whom and why in this re-branding moment is unclear), I'm sure Reuter could take a true story and be right like a stopped clock is twice a day. Initial view is maybe more caution than anything, but will have to review anyway. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:40, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Confused Versions?

German Focus Magazine made an interview with a Jabhat al-Nusra leader on 19th of September before targeting the humanitarian aid convoy, saying the terrorist organization would not allow the convoy to access Aleppo, threatening of detaining the truck drivers if the convoy entered the city without the permission of the organization.

That's in connection of course with the deadly Attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra. Daily Sabah has similar on September 27, but not specifying the date connection. This pretty clearly refers to the same contested interview the day before. Consider, that includes:

You do not want those 40 trucks with aid supplies to bring those into the eastern part of Aleppo?
We have demands. As long as the regime is positioned along Castello road, in al-Malah and in the northern areas we will not let those trucks pass. The regime must retreat from all areas in order for us to let the trucks pass. If a truck comes in despite that, we will arrest the driver.

To note, there is reason for just this attitude, and some separate evidence for it in Aleppo in mid-September (see Bilal Abdul-Kareem video, as discussed here.) If the interview was conducted on or before Sept. 19, the value of it as evidence is strong. "Abu al-Ezz" is either reflecting the attitude of the terrorists whose area the SARC convoy drove into, or has such insight as an outside faker maybe he accurately predicted the attitude underlying the attack. (Or, some might say, he accurately sowed that notion right before his regime allies bombed the convoy inside rebel turf, hoping this trick would convince people "terrorists" did it.) --Caustic Logic (talk) 09:33, 13 October 2016 (UTC)