"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)



Thursday, May 18, 2017

No, the United States Isn’t Dropping Syria’s Jihadis From Its Terror List (Aron Lund- The Century Foundation)

Has the Trump administration removed the Syrian wing of al-Qaeda from American terrorism lists? You could be forgiven for thinking so, after the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) revealed in a May 14 article that the United States does not consider the Islamist group Tahrir al-Sham to be a terrorist faction—but that’s a misunderstanding.

The United States remains committed to fighting jihadi influence in Syria, considers itself legally entitled to target Tahrir al-Sham members with airstrikes, and will continue to assassinate its leaders. But the U.S. State Department’s formal classification of the group is fuzzy and confusing, partly as a result of years of Islamist shell games, which has led many to think the United States is changing its stance. Even some prominent Tahrir al-Sham leaders have cheered the CBC article.

The fact remains that the United States is still treating Tahrir al-Sham as a terrorist group. To unpack this mess of misinformation, let’s take a look at the history of the al-Qaeda wing in Syria.