Note: this post is not so much an interpretation of the facts, yet more a quotation of media sources on the topic.
The last weeks there is an increasing international attention for the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat an-Nusra. In my previous post I introduced the group and wrote about it’s more recent actions. Few was known about them, just some people, intensely following the news from Syria, heard of them. A lot changed this week; more and more the group pops up in mainstream media throughout the world. This is just an update on recent events, there will definitely be more to come.
What follows next are excerpts from some of the most striking reports I encountered …
Inside Jabhat al Nusra – the most extreme wing of Syria’s struggle
The Telegraph, December 2
I actually recommend reading this article. A bit dramatized of course, but some very strong points here. The quotes included from some Nusra members are quite interesting …
The blocks of explosive that lay neatly stacked on the back seat, connected by thin wires, weighed down the silver saloon car.
Gripping the steering wheel tightly, the man known to his comrades as Abu Hafez al-Shami looked steadily at the video camera, uttering a final message as he prepared himself to die: “I ask God to make me do well in this operation, and please, my brothers, pray for us.”
A few minutes later, a small grey mushroom cloud erupted over the military base in central Damascus that al-Sibahi attacked – blowing four Syrian soldiers to oblivion along with himself, and injuring many more.
This was one of the growing number of suicide bomb attacks that are changing the face of the Syrian rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime … (more).
In Aleppo, jihadists take on greater role with Syrian rebel army
The Globe and Mail, December 4
A nice example for the fear of a failed state and jihadism in Syria (as seen by Syrians)
The men stepped out of a beat-up 4×4 with a black flag flying from the antenna and walked out onto a crowded street in the rebel-held heart of this city. They each had long black beards, were carrying extra weapons and were wearing baggy black pants that made them look more like the mujahedeen who fought in Afghanistan than rebel fighters in Syria.
One of the men said he was from Saudi Arabia; another, of Arab origin, said he was from France. Later, other similarly dressed fighters arrived and began mingling with the Syrian rebels.
A few months ago, these fighters – who belong to a shadowy Islamist group known as Jabhat al-Nusra (Support Front) – would have been an unimaginable sight on the streets of Aleppo, a once bustling city filled with music and all-night restaurants… (more)
Al Qaida-linked group Syria rebels once denied now key to anti-Assad victories The Kansas City Star, December 3
Even in Kansas the Jihadists have “followers” …
When the group Jabhat al Nusra first claimed responsibility for car and suicide bombings in Damascus that killed dozens last January, many of Syria’s revolutionaries claimed that the organization was a creation of the Syrian government, designed to discredit those who opposed the regime of President Bashar Assad and to hide the regime’s own brutal tactics.
Nearly a year later, however, Jabhat al Nusra, which U.S. officials believe has links to al Qaida, has become essential to the frontline operations of the rebels fighting to topple Assad … (more)
And then we have this of course :
U.S. might name Syrian rebel Nusra Front a foreign terrorist group
McClatchy DC, December 4
Just read this one as well. @azelin’s ideas are mostly spot on
In an apparent bid to isolate Islamist extremists and bolster a new Western-backed Syrian opposition alliance, the United States is moving to declare one of the most effective Syrian rebel groups a foreign terrorist organization because of its alleged ties to al Qaida.
The State Department originally planned to add the Nusra Front – Jabhat al Nusra in Arabic – to its list of international terrorist groups this week, McClatchy learned. The announcement was postponed, however, as officials discussed how to get the maximum impact from the designation.
The designation now is likely just before the United States and its European and Arab allies meet with leaders of the new opposition alliance at a conference Dec. 12 in Morocco, where a significant aid package for the new alliance is expected to be announced.
The impact of the terrorist designation for Nusra, whose members have been at the forefront of many of the rebels’ most recent victories, remains unclear. Many rebel sympathizers said they were concerned that the designation would make it impossible for rebel groups to coordinate in their fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad … (more)
Some questions here …
We all know Jabhat an-Nusra is no good, but why are they in the centre of all attention right now ?
In the meanwhile Syrian chemical weapons are moving around the country …, NATO seems to be quite worried; Patriot rockets in Turkey …
Main questions :
Are the main-stream media being used somehow to spread the news about Syrian Jihadism more actively than ever before ?
Is USA looking for something to engage the population (Jihadism ~ the common fear and enemy of all Americans since 9/11) ?