Instead of focusing on the institutions of a future Syria, the al-Qaeda aligned Nusra Front is trying to implement a more broadly based Islamic rule of law.
A civil war has erupted within global jihadism and it seems to pass the point of no return. Senior militants and clerics are now lining up to isolate and undermine the Syrian-Iraqi faction known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
A statement released by the top leadership of al-Qaeda asserts that there is no organizational link between the group and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The Islamic Front has presented unified positions on a number of issues, but in one case the Islamic Front has had trouble reconciling its stated ideological agenda with political reality—namely, the Kurdish question.
Viewing Lebanon as a transit point for the struggle in Syria and considering its state institutions as legitimate targets may, in due course, fuel the rise of the much-feared Islamic State of Lebanon.
The Umma Initiative, launched by Saudi Salafi preacher Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Moheisini, calls for an immediate ceasefire between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other rebels, and the election of a joint arbitration court from a list of ten independent religious scholars.
A recent statement authored by a self-described “group of sons of the Muslim Brotherhood” criticizes the organization's leadership handling of politics over the past three years, revealing real grievances
The Islamic Front argues for social and educational work to help develop the public’s Islamic consciousness, but it rejects the idea that Syrians could ever be allowed to vote on whether to have sharia law, or Islamic law, or to what degree.
On political matters, just as in religious affairs, the Islamic Front has staked out a hawkish position. Its officials say that they are firmly opposed to any peace deal with the regime and seem unwilling to hold talks even on minor matters.
Any attempt to describe the Islamic Front’s ideology is complicated by the fact that even some of its members seem puzzled by it. The member factions still serve under different leaderships, and there is no guarantee that they will be able to coordinate their policies or keep disagreements under control.
As soon as it announced its formation on November 22, 2013, it was clear that the Islamic Front would be a powerful influence on Syria’s future and a key actor in the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
While the Islamic legitimacy of the armed opposition to the Syrian regime remains uncontested among the Salafi-jihadi radicals, the decisive, dividing concern is simple: Which jihadi faction should the Egyptian Salafi-jihadi movement support?
The Islamic Front contains some of Syria’s most powerful rebel groups, particularly in the now-contested northern areas, and its position will matter for the outcome of the fighting between rival rebel groups.
The violence that erupted on January 3 was preceded by several months of rapidly worsening relations between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the rebel mainstream. Two newly formed northern coalitions have led the charge against the ISIL, the Syria Revolutionaries’ Front (SRF) and the Mujahideen Army.
The fighting that erupted on January 3 has been driven the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from several of its strongholds in northern Syria by rival rebel factions.
The Tawhid Brigade is one of Syria’s largest armed rebel groups fighting against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and dominating much of the insurgency around Aleppo.
The extension of the Salafi rebel group, the Islamic State of Iraq, into Syria has finally put an end to the debate of whether al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia has been dissolved.
One of the most elusive questions around Gulf donations to rebel brigades in Syria is how they arrive and understanding the logistics is key to any efforts to cut off the funds to extremist-linked groups.
Osama Amin al-Shihabi, a well-established actor on the Levantine jihadi scene, has recently been appointed head of the Nusra Front’s Palestinian wing in Lebanon.
The creation of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, also known as the Waad Party for its Arabic acronym which means “promise,” had long been in the pipeline.