Top Syrian rebel leader supported by the Obama Regime, admits to being a member of al-Qaeda

12292013Wasn’t it recently that John Kerry was offering to meet with the newly formed radical Syrian rebel group – the Islamic Front? Abu Khaled al-Suri is the leader of the Islamic Front’s largest faction, Ahrar al-Sham, who just acknowledged that he considers himself a member of al Qaeda, an admission that undercuts Western hopes that the new Islamic Front would be an acceptable counter to the rising influence of other al Qaeda affiliates in Syria.

McClatchy DC  Ahrar al Sham’s conservative philosophy has been well known, but its ties to al Qaeda had been unclear until Friday’s statement, which al Suri made through Twitter.  The statement cited al Suri’s close relationship with bin Laden and Zawahiri, and said that despite ISIS’ claims to be an al Qaeda franchise, bin Laden, Zawahiri and Zarqawi could not be held responsible for ISIS’ crimes or behavior. ISIS has used brutal measures, including beheadings, to enforce its harsh interpretation of Islam in the areas of Syria it dominates, a blood thirst that had earned it the enmity of many Syrians.

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Al-Suri’s profession of friendship with bin Laden, Zawahiri and Zarqawi, three of the West’s most despised figures, undercuts Ahrar al Sham’s previous claims that it was not affiliated with al Qaeda, despite its close working relationship with the Nusra Front, which has long claimed an al Qaeda relationship.

Al-Suri is a longtime al Qaeda operative who worked as a courier for the terror network. Spanish authorities think he may have delivered surveillance tapes of the World Trade Center and other American landmarks to al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Afghanistan in early 1998. In addition to being a senior member of Ahrar al Sham, al-Suri today serves as Ayman al Zawahiri‘s representative in the Levant.

Ahrar al Sham is not one of al Qaeda’s two official branches inside Syria, which are the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, or Levant (ISIS) . But Ahrar al Sham has closely cooperated with the al Qaeda affiliates on the battlefield even while engaging in a very public dispute with ISIS.

More beheadings by the al-Qaeda linked rebels in Syria: