In Rebel Syria: Summary Executions, Prisoner Abuse and Al-Qaeda Flags

Posted by John Rosenthal

There has recently been a small stir in the American media, as media organizations from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to the Associated Press have finally gotten around to acknowledging a “presence” of al-Qaeda and like-minded jihadist groups among the Syrian rebel forces seeking to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad. [...]

German Intelligence: 90 Al-Qaeda Attacks in Syria in Last Six Months

Posted by John Rosenthal

German intelligence estimates that “around 90” terror attacks, which “can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups,” were carried out in Syria between the end of December and the beginning of July. As reported by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, this was revealed by the German government in a response to [...]

The Houla Massacre Redux

Posted by John Rosenthal

In a post on National Review Online, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi and Phillip Smyth maintain that claims that Syrian rebels were responsible for the Houla massacre are the stuff of “outlandish conspiracy websites.” But a closer look at their argumentation reveals that they are the ones that have to resort to conspiracy theorizing. See my reply at [...]

Al-Qaeda Ladies Choir Struts Its Stuff in Rebel Syria

Posted by John Rosenthal

Back in mid-February, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that al-Qaeda had “infiltrated” the Syrian opposition. At roughly the same time, videos began emerging on the internet that clearly revealed just what an understatement – to put it mildly – Clapper’s observation represented. The videos show Syrian rebel brigades proudly posing with the al-Qaeda [...]

Al-Qaeda and Caliphate Flags in Rebel Syria

Posted by John Rosenthal

The Obama administration has conceded al-Qaeda’s involvement in the Syrian rebellion, suggesting last month that the terror group had “infiltrated” the opposition to Bashar al-Assad. But video evidence emerging out of Syria suggests that “infiltration” is not the word. At least three such videos depict anti-Assad forces or demonstrators with al-Qaeda’s black flag. Numerous other [...]

Syria: The Salafist Who Launched the Rebellion?

Posted by John Rosenthal

Earlier this month, the French daily Libération published an interview with Sheikh Louay al-Zouabi, a self-avowed Salafist imam from Daraa, Syria, who claims to have issued a fatwa that sparked the uprising against the rule of Bashar al-Assad. A radical fundamentalist current in Islam, Salafism advocates the emulation of the Salaf: the earliest generations of [...]