Syrian Al-Qaeda Franchise to Western Muslims: We’re Hiring

Fadi al-Halabi/AMC/AFP

“Al Qaeda-affiliated jihadis in Syria have issued a new call for Muslims in the West to leave their homes and vocations and migrate to where their services can benefit the jihad,” reports Foreign Desk Newsdescribing the article in an English-language magazine as a “jobs fair” for jihadis.

The magazine, Al-Risalah, features an article called “Has the Time Not Arrived?” in which Western Muslims with useful professional skills are invited to stop working for “Islamophobes” in foreign countries, and work for al-Qaeda branches in Syria instead.

For example, doctors are asked, “Are your services not better spent in patching the leg of that child who lost his limb in a barrel bomb in Aleppo rather than prescribing medication for an Islamophobe with flu in your country?”

Electricians are told to stop helping the “enemy” in the West “eavesdrop on the conversations of your Muslim brothers,” teachers should stop transmitting knowledge to infidel children who will “use it to attack your Muslim brothers and sisters,” and so forth.

Lisa Daftari of Foreign Desk finds it significant that this issue of Al-Risalah, which appears to be published more-or-less quarterly, arrives right after the latest issue of the Islamic State’s notorious Dabiq magazine, and also hard on the heels of Syria’s Nusra Front ostentatiously “separating” itself from al-Qaeda to become “Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.”

Natasha Bertrand at Business Insider warns that Nusra’s re-branding is a “trap” for the United States because Jabhat Fatah al-Sham will become even more deeply entwined with Syrian society, as well as other groups opposed to the Assad regime. That will make it much harder to target the (ostensibly) former al-Qaeda affiliate with precise air strikes and minimize civilian casualties.

“By disavowing its ties to Al Qaeda – which, incidentally, it did with Al Qaeda’s blessing – Nusra has made it harder to isolate it from more moderate groups, some of whose members may join it now because it’s more powerful than some of the groups they belong to now,” said one U.S. official.

Business Insider cites fears that breaking with al-Qaeda will allow Nusra to attract more recruits, which would seem to fall neatly in line with their magazine article attempting to lure (or, perhaps more to the point, shame) professional Muslims from Western countries into Syria.


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