Al Qaeda is strengthening in Syria and they have worked alongside groups we support and to whom we provide financial aid. Al Qaeda has put one of their top-ranked operatives in Syria – Sanafi al Nasr – while the US sends millions to a group -SSG – that disperses US funds to the Free Syrian Army which includes jihadists in their ranks and fights with al Qaeda at times. SSG does not keep any records of how the money is dispersed.
Abdul Mohsin Abdullah Ibrahim Al Sharikh or Shura al Nasr has risen through al Qaeda’s ranks to become one of the organization’s most senior leaders. He now leads al Qaeda’s “Victory Committee” or Shura al Nasr which develops and implements al Qaeda’s strategy and policies.
Nasr, formerly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, is now in Syria, a significant move by al Qaeda. He leads a premiere al Qaeda committee.
Nasr is a bin Laden cousin and a trusted player in al Qaeda. His brothers are long-time terrorists and two were in GITMO. They were released by George Bush and later attempted to commit an act of terrorism against US interests in Saudi Arabia. They were arrested in that country and little has been heard of them since.
Nasr is known for posting on forums and for tweeting. Nasr lauds online jihadists in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has advised new recruits to commit an act of violence in their home country before leaving to fight in the jihad abroad.
Al Qaeda is trying to unite but there is infighting among their organization inside Syria which pits ISIS, the former al Qaeda affiliate, against al Qaeda’s official branch, the Al Nusrah Front, and the al Qaeda-linked Ahrar al Sham, as well as other organizations. Nasr is on the side of Al Nusrah and Ahrar al Sham. He is a critic of ISIS as is Iran. ISIS is even too vicious for them.
Al Nusrah and Ahrar al Sham are attempting to unify the jihadists in Syria. FSA or the Free Syrian Army is battling ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).
The Free Syrian Army is considered to be the most moderate of the rebels fighting Assad, and it is the group we are supporting and providing monetary aid to through the group SSG.
Al Qaeda’s Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda) recently teamed up with the Yarmouk Brigade of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to capture the Ramtha military post on the border with Jordan after four days of fighting, according to several reports.
The FSA is replete with radical elements in addition to working with them in some cases.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International during the past two years say FSA brigades have committed war crimes including kidnapping, torture and executions. They have brutalized Christians because they see them as allies of Assad.
The Supreme Military Council is a loose coalition of individuals who represent militias fighting under the FSA banner.
Zahran Alloush, was a supreme council member when the American aid was sent. Alloush, a co-founder of a new opposition coalition called the “Islamic Front,” has praised another al-Qaida affiliate in the Syrian jihad.
“Jabhat Al-Nusra are brothers who have firm strength, and who fight the enemy in the Alawite regime, we have jointly conducted many military operation and we saw great pluck from them,” Alloush said in November. “I met with their Sharia counselor, Abu Maria Al Qahtani, and I did not see any differences between the ideas of their counselor and the ideas of ours, their counselor could be ours if we were the same group, I also appreciate my great brother Abu Mohamad Al Jolani, the leader of al-Nusra.”
Another supreme council member, Jamal Marouf, is cast as a moderate, but allied himself with radical jihadists in a January Twitter post.
“The front of the Syrian revolutionizes, The Islamic Front, and Jabhat al-Nusra, Muhajreen and Ansar, we are all in the fighting front together against the regime. What happened now is a fitna (strife), God damn who ignited it,” Maarouf wrote.
A group of Syrian émigrés formed the organization called SSG and they funnel money we give them to the Free Syrian Army. We have provided them with $10 million for food and medical supplies in Syria even though the US has economic sanctions against the country,
There are no written reports kept and no information on which brigades get the money and how it is used.
SSG has allies in U.S. Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham on the Republican side, and Bob Casey, Robert Menendez, and Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, on the Democratic side and in the White House.
SSG is supposedly a conduit for a flow of information from the Supreme Military Council and the US government. They also lobby Congress for aid money.
The British Foreign Office has demanded that SSG repay thousands of pounds it was granted by the UK because the money was improperly spent. The US just sends money.