Monday, September 16, 2013

Looking for a few bad men!

"The number of foreigners flocking to fight in Syria is on the decline, and with it, the extent of areas under al-Qaeda’s control in the embattled country. Local mujahideen are now in high demand.Until this moment, the identities of the leaders of the two al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria – al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – remain unknown. The only public communication from the two leaders are voice recordings or written messages leaked through unknown sources, or perhaps even through the same source.
Also unclear is the groups’ funding sources, despite reports that point to Iraq or other centers where the global jihadi organization is active. The two radical groups have also been able to seize local revenue streams, for example, with fees collected at border crossings and profits from crude oil sold to Turkish companies and local vendors through unofficial channels.
Activists familiar with the two groups spoke to Al-Akhbar, saying that al-Nusra Front and ISIS, like other armed factions in Syria, are constantly seeking to recruit more fighters with a view to expand their territorial holdings. Consequently, the two groups are looking to attract local “mujahideen,” especially in rural areas.To this end, the activists said, the two al-Qaeda affiliates entice recruits by highlighting the riches that await them, thanks to the “spoils” of war....
Although al-Nusra Front and ISIS have been able to lure many recruits who believe in their stated goals, especially foreign fighters, many observers do not rule out the possibility that the “spoils strategy” they adopt may well backfire. In this regard, an activist from the city of Raqqa purported that as soon as fighters aspiring for enrichment achieve their goals, they will desert the group. The activist said, “Many have deserted after getting their money. This is to be expected, because simply, there is no other cause.”...
On a different note, leaders of al-Nusra Front and ISIS acknowledge that their groups have been infiltrated. In a previous interview with a local website affiliated to the Syrian opposition, Abu Musab al-Suri, deputy ISIS commander of the northern region (Aleppo, Idlib, and Latakia), admitted to breaches in the group. At the time, he said that al-Nusra Front and ISIS were infiltrated by regime-planted elements, but also by agents of foreign intelligence services."

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