Ayman al Zawahiri eulogizes two slain al Qaeda veterans in a newly released video. Zawahiri praises the pair for their contributions to jihad. The production is laced with criticisms of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s Islamic State.
The Al Nusrah Front confirmed today that Abu Firas al Suri, a veteran jihadist who served al Qaeda since the 1980s, was killed in a US airstrike on Apr. 3. A Pentagon spokesman recently explained that Al Nusrah has “ties” to al Qaeda, but this is not an adequate description of the relationship. Al Nusrah is one of al Qaeda’s regional branches and is openly loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri.
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook confirmed today that the US targeted Abu Firas al Suri, a veteran al Qaeda leader, in an airstrike in Syria. Within hours of the bombing yesterday, jihadists on social media claimed that Abu Firas had perished. Separately, Cook confirmed that Hassan Ali Dhoore, a dual hatted al Qaeda and Shabaab leader, was killed in an airstrike in Somalia on Mar. 31.
Jihadists on social media say that Abu Firas al Suri, a veteran jihadist who served al Qaeda since the 1980s, has been killed in an airstrike in Syria. Abu Firas previously explained al Qaeda’s revolutionary approach to waging jihad, saying the group seeks to develop “erupting jihadi centers” in various Muslim-majority countries.
On Mar. 17, Abu Muhammad al Julani, the emir of Al Nusrah Front, issued a statement commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Syrian uprisings. Julani argued that the jihadists are inseparable from the Syrian people. Several years into the war, there are pockets of resistance to Al Nusrah, but the West has no strategy for harnessing this discontent and rolling back Al Nurah’s influence within the insurgency.
The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a mini-documentary on the jihadists’ quest to resurrect the caliphate. Contrary to highly dubious claims that the group was going to break from al Qaeda, Al Nusrah celebrates al Qaeda’s history, including the 9/11 attacks.
An audio recording of Abu Muhammad al Julani, the emir of the Al Nusrah Front, introduces a newly-released video produced by the group. The video highlights Al Nusrah’s purported military gains and ends with a clip of Ayman al Zawahiri calling for jihadist unity.
Abu Firas al Suri long served as a clandestine figure in al Qaeda’s international terrorist network. Today he serves as the Al Nusrah Front’s spokesman. He is tasked with defending Al Nusrah’s capture of more than 40 UN peacekeepers.