The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group that is fighting Bashir al Assad’s regime in Syria, denied responsibility for the Oct. 26 car bombing in Damascus that killed at least five civilians. Al Nusrah released a statement on jihadist forums on Oct. 27 denying any involvement in the attack.
“The Al Nusrah Front washes its hands of this detonation and all that is in it, and testifies before Allah to that,” the group said, according to the SITE Intelligence group, which obtained and translated the statement.
Al Nusrah then accused the Assad regime of carrying out the “dirty operation.” From Al Nusrah’s statement, according to SITE:
“This tyrannical regime is not satisfied with hunting in murky water, but because it is so lowly and contemptible, it dirties the water in which it hunts, and this is the worst trait of the regime. This made most people believe that it was the regime that carried out the operation, because it is very much like it. This point is the crux of what we wanted to reach, and to clarify.”
Al Nusrah certainly hasn’t shied away from claiming credit for deadly attacks; the group has now claimed credit for 31 of the 38 suicide bombings in Syria that the The Long War Journal has tallied since December 2011. It is certainly possible that Syrian intelligence carried out the attack, but it is also possible that one of the other jihadist groups, or even the supposedly secular Free Syrian Army executed the bombing. Regardless, given the nature of the fight, with radical Islamist terror groups cooperating with the opportunistic Free Syrian Army on one side, and the Syrian regime on the other, it was silly to think a cease-fire would ever hold.