Washington, DC. Most Americans know who the US government claims was responsible for the 911 attacks, killing nearly 3000 citizens in 2001. And most Americans can tell you that Al Qaeda is not a car salesman in Springfield, Illinois. But do most Americans know the United States, no longer views Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization, well welcome to a “brave new world.”
It might come as a surprise to many Americans that their government does not classify Al Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist organization. The reason it refuses to make the determination will shock you even more.
The Syrian branch of the organization involved in the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington has long gone by the name Jabhat al-Nusra, and was sent into Syria by the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Mr .Baghdadi went on to launch the rival group ISIS, while Nusra maintained its status as Al Qaeda’s troops on the ground in the war against the Syrian government.
By 2015 the group decided to re-brand itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham while, as reported by the Central Intelligence Agency, they continued to incorporate smaller organizations into their structure.
This is one of the reasons for the failure of last year’s cease fire in Syria: the “moderate” fighters and the legitimate terrorists were so inter-mingled that it was impossible for the US to separate them. But the State Department did not buy into the PR makeover by Obama of Al Qaeda and designated al-Sham a terrorist organization as well.
Then, early this year, al-Shams decided on a new rebranding and decided to name itself Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). The leader of the new group is the same old leader, and is listed by the US as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” with a $10 million bounty on his head, thanks to a new management in the White House.
But strangely enough, the US has not designated the new organization a terrorist organization even as it warns off other groups seeking to join the newly branded Al Qaeda in Syria.
Why is that you might well ask?
From US Intelligence sources,the reasons for the reluctance to list the new Al Qaeda formation has to do with one of its new members, the Nour ed-Dine Zenki Brigade, a jihadi group from the Aleppo governorate.The Zenki Brigade was an early and prominent recipient of US aid, weapons, and training.
If the US were to designate HTS a terrorist organization now would, it would mean acknowledging that America supplied sophisticated weapons including TOW anti-tank missiles to “terrorists,” and draw attention to the fact that the America continues to arm Islamist militias in Syria.
You read that right: The reason the USA cannot say Al Qaeda in Syria is a terrorist group is because that would make the USA legally responsible for having supplied a terrorist group with extremely sophisticated weapons and training.
The USA is arming, and has been training terrorists in Syria with American taxpayer money, but instead of just getting out, it is pretending that Al Qaeda is not a terrorist organization and supporting them daily.