Hay’at Tahrir al Sham has released two videos and a short statement claiming that its men downed a Russian warplane. The Russian defense ministry confirmed that the jet was lost after it was struck by a “a portable anti-aircraft missile system.”
In a new message, Hamza bin Laden praises the jihadists fighting to establish an “Islamic government” in Syria. But he warns that their enemies seek to “divide” their “ranks.”
More than 20 jihadist, Islamist and other rebel organizations took part in the offensive to break the siege of Aleppo. It was likely one of the largest combined efforts in the history of the Syrian war.
The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, says that it is turning over the territory it controls in the northern Aleppo province to other rebel groups. The move is a response to Turkey’s proposed buffer zone in northern Syria.
The Jaysh al Fateh alliance claims to have captured several villages in the Al Ghab plain in recent days.
The Jaysh al Fateh coalition, which includes the Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham, and other allied-organizations, has launched a new offensive targeting the Al Ghab plain. The alliance claims to have already made significant gains.
Jihadist groups in Syria, including the Al Nusrah Front and Ahrar al Sham, have established “Al Muhajirun” as a new front for foreign fighters. The alliance is intended to unite foreign jihadists and serve as a counterbalance to the Islamic State.
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.
Said Arif, an al Qaeda veteran, has reportedly been killed in an airstrike in Syria. Jihadists on social media have identified Arif as a senior figure in Jund al Aqsa, an al Qaeda front group.
The Western-backed Syrian Revolutionaries Front continues to fight alongside Al Nusrah, the Islamic Front, and other Islamist groups in southern Syria.
The Al Nusrah Front has released a statement saying that it has not “yet” announced the creation of an Islamic emirate and it will only do so after other jihadist groups agree with the decision.
An alleged audio recording featuring Al Nusrah Front emir Abu Muhammad al Julani was leaked online. Julani discusses the creation of an Islamic emirate, or state, in Syria as a counterweight to the Islamic State and other actors.
Ansar al Islam, a jihadist group founded in northern Iraq in September 2001, has claimed a number of attacks against the Iraqi government since the rebel offensive began earlier this month.
The jihadist ideologue known as Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi has been released from a Jordanian prison. Officials in the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and other jihadists are celebrating Maqdisi’s release.
US officials have identified the first American suicide bomber in Syria as Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who reportedly grew up in Florida. Abusalha went by the alias “Abu Hurayra al Amriki” and joined the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria.
A top sharia official in the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, says that a suicide bomber who recently took part in a coordinated assault was known as Abu Hurayra al Amriki, or Abu Hurayra “the American.” The bomber’s identity has not been confirmed by US officials.
The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has rejected a charter signed by a number of other leading insurgency groups. Al Nusrah argues that the charter is not rooted in proper Islamic principles, among other supposed flaws.
The Al Nusrah Front has issued a statement saying it will comply with Ayman al Zawahiri’s orders with respect to the ongoing dispute with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS).
Sanafi al Nasr, a senior al Qaeda leader who was reportedly killed in Latakia, Syria in late March, is alive. Nasr leads an al Qaeda committee responsible for the group’s strategic planning and policy.
Three prominent Al Nusrah Front officials have now tweeted a message to Ayman al Zawahiri. The message asks him to address specific hot button issues in the infighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham and Al Nusrah.
Al Maqreze Media has released a statement saying that Ayman al Zawahiri “will not be speaking on our station. We will be raising crucial questions for all concerning the conflict in Syria.”
High-profile jihadists in Syria, including those with known ties to al Qaeda, are reporting that Sanafi al Nasr — one of al Qaeda’s highest-ranking leaders — has been killed.
An Al Nusrah Front video released on March 17 features Abu Sulayman al Muhajir, who was an extremist preacher in Australia. Abu Sulayman says he relocated to Syria, where he was part of al Qaeda’s mediation effort in the dispute between Al Nusrah and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS). He criticizes ISIS in the video.
In a video released on March 18, the Al Nusrah Front identifies Abu Firas al Suri as a leader within the group. Al Suri, who has a long al Qaeda pedigree, was dispatched to Syria from Yemen to try to mediate the dispute between Al Nusrah and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham.
Sanafi al Nasr heads al Qaeda’s “Victory Committee” and has relocated to Syria. He has become a vocal critic of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) and has been allied with ISIS’ main jihadist rivals, including the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria.
Al Jazeera reports that Yasin al Suri, the head of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network, is facilitating the terror network’s operations from Iranian soil once again. Al Suri was detained by the Iranian government after the US government exposed his network, and the deal between Iran and al Qaeda, in 2011.
State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf emailed this response to the Long War Journal after we criticized her characterization of al Qaeda.
Ayman al Zawahiri’s message concerning the infighting in Syria has been picked up by various jihadist websites, including a Facebook page operated by Ansar al Sharia Tunisia.
An ex-Guantanamo detainee, Ibrahim Sen, was arrested in Turkey on Jan. 14. Sen is accused of being an important al Qaeda facilitator and leader.
A statement posted by Abu Khalid al Suri, Ayman al Zawahiri’s main representative in Syria, criticizes the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS). The statement was posted on Twitter. Al Suri is a senior leader in Ahrar al Sham, a Syrian rebel group that is directly linked to al Qaeda.