Syrian airstrikes hit a courthouse and prison associated with Al Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, killing both guards and prisoners. Reports differ as to the number killed.
The United States treasury adds two Qatari citizens to its list of designated financiers of terrorism, accusing them of raising funds for Jabhat Al Nusra and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
These are important terrorist financiers and we do think this action is going to have a significant disruptive effect, and significantly impact the ability of groups like Al Qaeda and Al Nusra to raise funds in the Gulf region.
Sa’d bin Sa’d Muhammad Shariyan Al Ka’bi is key person in the development of Madad Ahl Al Sham, a social networking site based in Qatar that raises a ‘significant’ amount of funds for Al Nusra. He was also asked by a Nusra commander to act as an intermediary tasked with collecting a ransom for a hostage held by the militant group, and ‘worked to facilitate a ransom payment’ for the release of a hostage, according to a treasury statement. Abd Al Latif Bin ’Abdallah Salih Muhammad Al Kawari is also involved with the online fundraising platform. Treasury official:
[The designations show that] while we are very much focused on ISIL and … taking every step that we can to deprive ISIL of its financing, it doesn’t mean we’ve taken our eye off the ball with respect to the financing of other terrorist groups. The cooperation that we have received from the Qataris on this matter is a testament that our relationship is improving and growing. We are sure that they will do everything they can to crack down on terrorist fundraising…[While the network has been shut down] It’s important to ensure that these individuals do not have the ability to continue to fundraise through any other means’.
Despite this, however, the official says Qatar has not arrested the two men.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate, Nusra Front, abducts five rebels believed to have been trained by the United States after raiding areas along the Turkish border. The militant group is now holding a total of 13 men from ‘Division 30.’ It is not immediately clear whether the five men abducted overnight had been on the new U.S. military training programme or on an existing, separate CIA-led program. Pentagon spokesperson says the United States remains committed to defending the Syrian fighters, including against the threat from Nusra Front. There is no official reaction from the Syrian government, but a source says:
[The U.S.] relayed a message to Damascus not to worry about these statements. It’s about hitting Al-Nusra hard, not the Syrian army.
Division 30 rebels in Syria defy their Pentagon-funded programme by pledging to fight against Assad regime troops.
The Division was formed from the honourable sons of Syria to help rid their country of Assad gangs and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
The Division also rejects a U.S. promise to defend the brigade against al Nusra with airstrikes:
[We have no] connection to the operations of the coalition against any faction on Syrian lands. [We will] not be dragged into any side battle with any faction. We did not and will not fight Jabhat al-Nusra.
A Syrian opposition commander and a high level militant say leaders from the two groups met between midnight and 4 a.m. at a farmhouse in northern Syria to agree to stop fighting each other and fight together against their opponents. The accord is believed to be fragile, and won’t soon extend to a full merger of the Islamic State (ISIS) and Nusra, Syria’s Al Qaeda affiliate. But it is expected to increase the level of opposition that more moderate rebels fighting against both the extremist groups and the Assad government, and backed by the U.S.-led international coalition, are facing in the conflict.
The Saudi-based Sakina NGO finds that terrorist groups including ISIS post 90 propaganda tweets a minute. ISIS, Al-Nusra and other groups posted 129,600 tweets in October. Sakina official:
The nature of the extremist can be understood by analysing his posts, identifying his social circle and understanding his internal motives and history
Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front, who were meant to form the main line of attack against ISIS and have been receiving heavy weapons including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles, surrender military bases and weapons supplies to Nusra, the Syrian Al Qaeda affiliate, as it storms villages in Idlib. Nusra members announce on Twitter that they have seized the TOW missiles. Some of the rebels are reported to defect to Nusra.
Intelligence and Department of Defense officials believe that 20-30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees released within the last two to three years have joined groups like ISIS, Al Nusra and Al Qaeda. Of the 620 detainees released from Guantanamo Bay, 180 have returned or are suspected to have returned to the battlefield. Officials say most of those 20 to 30 are operating inside Syria, while some are providing support including financing to radical groups from outside the country.
Aqidi, a senior Al-Nusra member, says he received treatment from Kassig during a bombardment by the Assad regime, and also gave treatment to Dujana, identified as Nusra’s leader in Deir Ezzor. He says he believed at the time that Kassig was a fellow jihadi:
[…] It later became clear to me that he’s an humanitarian activist that served in Deir Al-Zour for more than a year and was then kidnapped by Isil
U.S. journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem, a film-maker who has reported extensively from Syria, says he interviewed a commander of the Al-Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda, who confronted ISIS to demand the release of Henning. Kareem says ‘anyone of any influence,’ including Al Qaeda, has sought to intervene on behalf of Haines, as he was a volunteer seeking to help Muslim refugees in the town of Dana and his abduction is ‘wrong under Islamic law’:
Four days after he was captured, the emir went to Al-Dana and said: ‘Look, what you are doing is wrong. You have no business what you are doing. You have no right to abduct him. You have no reason to detain him just because he is not Muslim’.
There were initial hopes that Henning would be released:
But then Henning was removed from his prison in Al-Dana and never heard of again.
Al-Nusra Front militants release all 45 of the Fijian UN Disengagement Observer Forces they have been holding captive after abducting them from the Syrian Golan Heights two weeks earlier. UN statement:
at 1430lcl 45 Fiji @UNPeacekeeping were released & handed over 2 UNDOF at pos 80. All r in good condition. More details later.
— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) September 11, 2014
An investigation by ABC’s 7:30 program identifies 33-year-old Mohammad Ali Baryalei from Sydney as Australia’s most senior ISIS member. Baryalei is from an aristocratic Afghan family that came to Australia as refugees as a child, and has worked as a security guard in King’s Cross and made a brief appearance as an extra on the true crime show Underbelly. Police say that in 2013 he traveled to Syria to fight with extremist groups and has since become the top recruiter of Australians to ISIS, involved in its operational command in Syria and Iraq as a facilitator for Australians traveling to join jihad. Baryalei in an intercepted phone call with his handler in Sydney:
Four brothers coming this week. They are leaving Australia. Going to try to get them by the weekend. Abu Qaqa is the tall one that was doing Dawah with you. … The brothers yesterday, they were crying, affected, none of them wanted to stay in this country one second.
The head of the Syrian group considered the strongest opponent to ISIS and the Assad government is killed at its headquarters in the northwestern town of Ram Hamdan in Idlib province. A suicide bomber infiltrates a meeting of leaders of Ahrar al-Sham (The Islamic Movement of Free Men of the Levant), killing its commander Hassan Aboud, also known as Abu Abdullah al-Hamwi. A statement from the group says 11 other leaders were killed. The Assad regime doesn’t typically conduct suicide bombings, but they are a common tactic among extremist rebel groups such as ISIS and Al-Nusra Front. Tweet from Islamic Front, the coalition led by Ahrar al-Sham:
They were martyred … in an explosion inside their meeting headquarters
Al-Nusra Front threatens to try 45 captured UN Disengagement Observer Force peacekeepers from Fiji in a Shariah court over alleged UN crimes. It accuses the UNDOF of doing nothing to help the Syrian people since the uprising against the Assad regime began in March 2011 and says the Fijians were seized in retaliation for the UN ignoring ‘the daily shedding of the Muslims’ blood in Syria. It contends that the UNDOF has colluded to allow Assad’s army access via the Golan Heights…
…to facilitate its movement to strike the vulnerable Muslims.
Lebanese Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi proposes dividing refugees from the Syrian conflict by political alliance and deporting them:
What is at stake now is the proposal that refugees who trust the regime return to the areas under regime control, and those who have faith in Nusra Front and ISIS go to the regions under their control.
Azzi says the option of setting up camps for the refugees similar to the ones existing in Jordan and Turkey is no longer relevant. The remarks come after protests by the families of security personnel kidnapped by ISIS and Al-Nusra Front, the Syrian arm of Al Qaeda.
Thousands attend the funeral of Lebanese soldier Sgt. Ali Sayid, 29, who was executed by militants aligned with ISIS and the Syrian Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front. In a Lebanese tradition when a young person dies, the mourners rock the coffin from side to side under a banner of his face. They fire weapons into the air and protest at what they say is failure by the government to negotiate for his release and the release of 26 other security personnel abducted along with him. His uncle, Ahmad Sayid:
He was betrayed by all the politicians, all of them! By parliamentarians and officials, and by the country. He was sold for a cheap price!
Fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front issue demands for the release of the 45 Fijian UN peacekeepers that they are holding hostage. The group has asked to be taken off the UN terrorist list, for delivery of humanitarian aid to parts of the Syrian capital of Damascus, and for payment for three of its fighters it says were killed in a shootout with UN officers. Brigadier General Mosese Tikoitoga, in Suva:
Negotiations have moved up to another level with the professional negotiators now in place
Curtis is handed over to UN peacekeepers in Quneitra in the Golan Heights after nearly two years in captivity by the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front. He is turned over to U.S. officials after undergoing a health check. Video footage shows Curtis looking disheveled with long hair and a beard but apparently in good health. He reads a prepared script stating that he is a journalist from Boston, Mass., and says of his current circumstances:
Everything has been perfect, food, clothing, even friends now.
ISIS withdraws completely from the town of Azaz on the Turkish border ahead of a deadline from the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front to retreat or face all-out war. An activist in the town says ISIS fighters take their weapons, climb into their vehicles and set off before dawn. Residents celebrate in the streets chanting “Free Syrian Army” as they throng returning fighters from more moderate brigades, driven out by ISIS in September. It is not clear where the ISIS militants fighters have gone but they are said to have headed east to strongholds in the eastern part of Aleppo province and possibly on to the city of Raqaa, the group’s self-styled capital.
Syrian Al Qaeda offshoot the Al-Nusra Front claims a suicide bombing in Lebanon. The car bomb targeting an army post in Hezbollah-controlled area kills two Lebanese soldiers and a civilian and leaves 17 wounded. Prime Minister Tammam Salam, the government’s highest-ranking Sunni official says the attack constitutes an act of terrorism:
The attack on the military establishment exceeds a normal crime. We urge everybody to unite