Tag Archives: al Nusra Front

ISIS Fight Against al-Qaeda Spills Over From Syria into Lebanon

by Jason Ditz

While most of the factions within the Syrian Civil War are party to an ongoing ceasefire, neither ISIS nor al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front were invited to take part. As those two factions continue to clash with myriad other groups, they’re also finding time to fight against one another.

Heavy fighting erupted in the Syrian Qalamoun Mountains on Sunday, with ISIS pushing into regions held by al-Qaeda. The fighting raged into Monday, and moved further west, with both sides crossing into Lebanon, where al-Qaeda forces aimed to take ISIS territory along the border.

Lebanon has struggled with spill-over violence throughout the Syrian Civil War, with both ISIS and Nusra operating around the hills in the Bekaa Valley, and occasionally clashing with Lebanese security forces in the town of Arsal.

All told, at least 18 Nusra fighters were killed, along with 14 ISIS fighters. Six Nusra fighters were also reported captured in the battles. Though the fighting appears to have reached a lull by Monday evening, it is liable to pick up again at any moment.

McCain-Backed Plan Could Give Terrorists shoulder-fired missiles


According to John McCain, powerful weapons getting into the wrong hands is worth the risk to oust Syria’s President Bashar al Assad.

With blood on McCain’s hands, those same weapons could bring more terror attacks if those wrong hands are members of Al Qaeda. McCain says he is perfectly fine with taking that risk.

Award-winning journalist Ben Swann has reported extensively that the largest groups fighting to overthrow Assad are Jihadists.

Al-Nusra Front is the largest group, which is the Syrian wing of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

So is McCain ok with these stinger missiles falling in the hands of Al Qaeda? Apparently so.

According to Time, the Obama White House is weighing the options of sending surface-to-air missiles to Syria to help bring an end to the country’s long civil war.

The shoulder-fired missiles are capable of knocking a helicopter or low-flying plane out of the sky.

“The introduction of manpads could be a game changer in Syria, like it was in Afghanistan in the 1980s with Stinger missiles,” an Arab official told TIME, adding that he believed the Obama Administration had begun discussing the idea more seriously.

The addition of U.S. weapons could be an even huge game changer if those weapons got into the wrong hands.

Time reported that Senior Administration officials worry that the weapons — known technically as man-portable air-defense systems, or manpads — could fall into the hands of terrorists intent on shooting down a civilian airliner. Syria’s rebel forces are now dominated by radical Islamists, some of whom recently overran headquarters used by a moderate faction and looted weapons stored there.

The potential of al-Qaeda is terrifying. Even former CIA director David Petraeus who called that scenario a “nightmare” in January.

A 2005 Rand Corp. study found that the shooting down of a civilian airliner might temporarily freeze air travel worldwide and produce total economic losses of more than $15 billion.

But McCain thinks our safety is worth the risk: “I want to shoot them down,” McCain said. “To stop these atrocities, I’m willing to take the risk of a manpad … falling into the wrong hands, because we’ve got to stop it.”

McCain is postulating a false idea that if Assad is ousted, all atrocities in Syria will end. Pulitzer Prize-winning Seymour Hersh said the Obama Administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a war with Syria. In fact, the rebels may have launched the chemical attack last year that killed over a thousand civilians in Syria. Read more here.

So the premise that the U.S. should be involved in order to stop the violence is false.

According to the Time report, officials in Saudi Arabia are trying to broker this arms deal and “vet” which rebels would be allowed to use these lethal weapons. It’s ironic that Saudi Arabia is trusted to do this while they remain the leading financial source for terrorism world wide.

As previously reported by Benswann.com, a leaked diplomatic cable from then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.”

So while American soldiers are fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, McCain is essentially arming the terrorists in Syria.

It’s very troubling that McCain would make such a irresponsible claim. What is more troubling, is the fact the U.S. continues to  repeat the same failed foreign policies and expect different results-it’s insanity!

The Two Major Problems With President Obama’s Syria Address

President Barack Obama addressed the nation Tuesday night, explaining why the chemical attack in Syria matters and where the U.S. goes from here.

In his address the President talked about the images of Syrians writhing on the floor of a hospital and dying after what appears to be a chemical attack. The President said that when “dictators commit atrocities they count on the world to look away.”

Obama said that the evidence against Syrian President Bashar al Assad is clear as he made the claim that “Assad’s government gassed to death over 1,000 people including children.” “No one disputes that chemical weapons were used in Syria.” and went on to say “We know the Assad regime was responsible”.

The problem with President Obama’s address however is that while he made very definite statements about the chemical attack clearly happening at the hands of the Assad regime, he offered no evidence of that claim.

As we have reported, the American public has no interest in the U.S. intervening in Syria. Some polls indicate as many as 91% percent of Americans are against it. Reports indicate that Congress is leaning 10 to 1 against military action. The Obama administration has insisted that they have no choice but to get involved because of the use of chemical weapons.

Where the President needed to move public opinion was by offering evidence, not simply his word, but evidence that the Assad regime committed this atrocity. It is not enough for the President to state that because there is evidence of the use of sarin, that draws a direct line to Assad. We have also reported that Turkish security forces arrested members of al Nusra Front with 2kgs of sarin on May 31, 2013. Millions of Americans are aware that al Nusra is the Syrian wing of al Qaeda in Iraq and certainly is capable of carrying out this kind of chemical attack.

On that note, it is interesting that in the 15 minutes President Obama spent appealing to the American people he made mention of the name al Qaeda only once and did not directly address the fact that those forces are actively working to overthrow Assad.

The second major problem with the President’s appeal was that he made a promise that the public will almost definitely reject at face value.

“I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria. I will not authorize open ended action as we experienced in Iraq. I will not engage in a prolonged air campaign as we did in Libya,” promised the President.

Of course, this promise cannot be made when there are so many unknown variables. What if Assad retaliates and launches a larger chemical attack? What if Iran and Syria launch attacks against Israel? And the biggest question, what if U.S. strikes help to topple the Assad regime and these stockpiles of chemical weapons are exposed to “rebel” fighters including al Nusra Front? Would the U.S. not be compelled to send in ground troops to secure those weapons?

Tuesday, the President needed to convince the public that the moral obligation of the United States is to intervene against ruthless dictators. For too many Americans, that address has been given one too many times.

Glenn Beck Calling For A U.S. War in Syria and Another War in Iraq?

If you regularly follow my work, you know that I have written and talked about Al Qaeda in Syria for about 2 years now.  I was the first reporter to confront President Obama to his face about the fact that al Qaeda fighters in Syria were the real force behind the so called Syrian “civil war”.

Syrian civil war
When polled, 80% of Americans reject going to war with Syria.


As recently as one month ago, I created a Full Disclosure episode to explain how strong the presence of al Qaeda truly is in Syria.  Explaining that the best funded, best equipped and best positioned force to take over the country from the Assad regime is not the Free Syria Army but Al Nusra Front, the Syrian wing of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Today, on Glenn Beck’s national radio show, Beck and Blaze TV commentator Buck Sexton talked about this growing problem of Al Qaeda in Syria and the growth of Al Qaeda in Iraq.  The position that Beck and Sexton took… that Al Qaeda must be stopped.  Sexton advocated sending U.S troops to Syria to stop Al Qaeda (as if the Assad regime would want U.S troops on Syrian soil) and that we must do the same to put down Al Qaeda in Iraq.  Beck, agreed that we must stop al Qaeda but first we have to get our troops recuperated and refreshed.

Reality Check:  Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, there was no al Qaeda in Iraq.  Saddam Hussein hated al Qaeda and was the U.S.’s number one source of information on al Qaeda.  After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we created the opening for al Qaeda to gain a foothold… and they did.

Flash forward to 2012 when the U.S. began supporting rebels in Syria.  The U.S. has been providing financial support, body armor, satellite radios and other “non-lethal” assistance to the FSA (Free Syria Army). As recently as Memorial Day 2013, Senator John McCain visited with fighters from the FSA to talk about how the U.S. can provide assistance in a “more serious manner”.

In short, what Beck and Sexton somehow missed is that the growth of al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq has not happened because of a lack of U.S. involvement but as a result of it.  The argument that Beck and Sexton are making is a NeoCon argument.  Simply put, it is the cycle of terror created by a government that claims to fight terror on one hand but supports it with the other.

For example, The U.S. creates destabilization in a country like Iraq.  Over the course of years local and regional al Qaeda forces step in to develop and train fighters.  As the U.S. suffers financial and operational fatigue, al Qaeda grows and eventually the U.S. pulls out.

Meanwhile, the U.S. because it wants to see the overthrow of Assad deploys the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy and funds al Qaeda fighters in Syria.  Over the course of years we create destabilization and attempt to force a regime change. In doing so, we hand Syria over to al Qaeda.  Finally, once al Qaeda is fully in control of Iraq and Syria, we re-engage in our perpetual war on terror.  All the time, sacrificing trillions in U.S. tax dollars and more importantly sacrificing the lives of thousands of America’s sons and daughters.

That has been American foreign policy since we first created the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the late 70’s and early 80’s to destabilize the Soviets.   It didn’t work then, so why would it work now?

If you want the full picture of American support of al Nusra Front in Syria, watch this Full Disclosure.