"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tahrir al-Sham: Al-Qaeda's latest incarnation in Syria- BBC News

The Syrian jihadist group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), which was known as al-Nusra Front until it broke off formal ties with al-Qaeda last July, has rebranded itself again.
A statement issued on 28 January announced that it had agreed to merge with four smaller factions and form a new alliance, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Liberation of the Levant Organisation).
Hashim al-Sheikh, also known as Abu Jabir, who had previously been the head of the now-rival Islamist rebel group Ahrar al-Sham, was named its new leader.
There was no mention in the statement of the long-standing al-Nusra and JFS leader, Abu Mohammed al-Julani. However, Tahrir al-Sham confirmed weeks later that he had been appointed the alliance's "general military commander".
On 9 February, Abu Jabir delivered a message in which he insisted Tahrir al-Sham was an "independent entity and not an extension of former organisations and factions".
It appeared to be an attempt to further distance the group from al-Qaeda.
But it is not clear how effective that will be, as the last name change failed to convince the international community and the US kept the group on its list of foreign terrorist organisations.
The statement announcing the creation of Tahrir al-Sham said JFS had joined forces with the Nour al-Din Zinki Movement, one of the most important opposition factions in Aleppo province; Ansar al-Din Front; the Homs-based Jaysh al-Sunnah; and Liwa al-Haqq, which operates in Idlib, Aleppo and Hama provinces.