Online jihadists are claiming that an al Qaeda leader known as Sanafi al Nasr has been killed in an airstrike in Syria. Nasr’s death is not confirmed and he has been reported dead before. The latest claims come from al Qaeda members who apparently knew Nasr and interacted with him online.
A senior al Qaeda leader known as Sanafi al Nasr recently claimed on his Twitter feed that David Drugeon, an alleged al Qaeda bombmaker from France, had been killed in Syria. But there are good reasons to take Nasr’s testimony with a grain of salt.
Al Qaeda-linked Twitter feeds, including one attributed to a senior al Qaeda leader, are claiming that Idris al Balushi was killed during a counterterrorism raid by Pakistani forces. Balushi is purportedly the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. His death has not been confirmed.
Sixteen jihadists, including 11 from the Al Nusrah Front and Ahrar al Sham, have issued a statement on behalf of the “muhajireen” (foreign fighters) saying they will continue to fight the Islamic State throughout Syria.
The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, and its allies have formed a coalition of groups to go on the offensive in Idlib. One of the coalition’s first propaganda videos features Al Nusrah fighters firing an American-made TOW missile on a Syrian regime target.
The al Qaeda leader known as Sanafi al Nasr praised al Qaeda’s “martyrs” on Twitter. Among them is Adnan al Shukrijumah, an al Qaeda operative charged with attacking the West. Nasr’s tweets also shed additional light on the identity of another terrorist reportedly killed earlier this month.
A senior al Qaeda leader known as Sanafi al Nasr has tweeted that Muhsin al Fadhli was killed in the bombing raids in Syria last week. Both Nasr and al Fadhli are part of the so-called “Khorasan group.” Al Fadhli may have been killed, but his death has not been confirmed. And there are sound reasons to treat Nasr’s tweets with skepticism.
Abu Muhammad al Julani seeks to undermine public support for airstrikes in Syria by arguing that citizens in the West, and not just their rulers, will pay the price for the war. Julani also discusses Al Nusrah’s fight against Hezbollah and urges jihadists not to join the West in the fight against the Islamic State.