Watch: Nusra Front leader admits ideological links to Muslim Brotherhood in Al Jazeera interview

The file photo shows the al-Nusra Front terrorists riding a captured tank near Idlib, northwestern Syria. (AFP)
Updated 05 July 2017
0

Watch: Nusra Front leader admits ideological links to Muslim Brotherhood in Al Jazeera interview

JEDDAH: The leader of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front admitted ideological links with the Muslim Brotherhood in an interview with Qatari state-funded Al Jazeera news channel.
Abu Mohammad Al-Julani said that while the militant group differed greatly from the Muslim Brotherhood, the two organizations shared the same ideology.
“Al-Qaeda’s ideology is derived from the Holy Qu’ran, Sunnah and Prophet Muhammad successors’ teachings,” Al-Julani said.
He said of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Sayyid Qutb: “He (Qutb) derived his ideology from the same source that we derived ours from.”
But he added: “Although this may be similar to many factions, Al-Qaeda has been interested in practical and serious views: jihad.”
Al-Nusra Front — also known by their Arabic name Jabhat Al-Nusra — is Al-Qaeda’s formal affiliate in Syria and one of the most powerful rebel groups fighting the Assad regime.
He later revealed in the interview that Al-Qaeda not only adopted the same ideological approach, but also shared the same educational teachings as the Muslim Brotherhood.
He explained that books by Qutb were used in the teachings at Al-Qaeda’s mujahedeen preparation centers, where the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is described as a jihadi movement. “We must study all the jihadist movements in the arena,” Al-Julani said.
The Islamic scholar Hassan Al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, and Qutb later shaped it.
Saudi Arabia formally designated the group as a terrorist organization in 2014.
In 2016, the Al-Nusra Front announced in a video that the group was breaking its links with Al-Qaeda and changed its name to Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham — the front of the liberation of Al-Sham, the historical Arabic name for the Levantine region.
“We declare the complete cancelation of all operations under the name of Jabhat Al-Nusra and the formation of a new group operating under the name ‘Jabhat Fatah Al-Sham,’ noting that this new organization has no affiliation to any external entity.”


Vulture with GPS tracker held in Yemen on suspicion it was used for spying

Updated 53 min 22 sec ago
0

Vulture with GPS tracker held in Yemen on suspicion it was used for spying

  • The bird migrated from Bulgaria, to Turkey, to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and then Yemen
  • Govt forces detained the bird on suspicion that the attached GPS tracker was a spy device for Houthi militants

SANAA: Griffon vulture Nelson crossed into war-torn Yemen in search of food but ended up in the hands of Yemeni fighters — and temporarily in jail for suspected espionage.
The sand-colored bird came down in the country’s third city of Taiz, an unusual move for a young vulture that can soar for long distances across continents in search of food and moderate weather.
Nelson, approximately two years old, embarked on his journey in September 2018 from Bulgaria, where his wing was tagged and equipped with a satellite transmitter by the Fund for Wild Fauna and Flora (FWFF).
But he seems to have lost his way, eventually coming down into Taiz — under siege by Houthi rebels but controlled by pro-government forces, who mistook Nelson’s satellite transmitter for an espionage device and detained the bird.
Forces loyal to the government believed that the GPS tracker attached to the bird may have been a spy device for the rebels.
Hisham Al-Hoot, who represents the FWFF in Yemen, traveled from the rebel-held capital Sanaa to Taiz to plead with local officials to release the helpless animal.
“It took about 12 days to get the bird,” he told AFP.
“The Bulgarian foreign ministry reached out to the Yemeni ambassador, who in turn contacted local officials (in Taiz) and told them to immediately give the organization the vulture.”
Hoot said that the bird migrated from Bulgaria, to Turkey, to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and then Yemen — where the FWFF lost track of the bird.
Nelson was MIA until April 5, when the conservation group received hundreds of messages from Yemenis concerned about the creatures’ welfare.
Today, the locally-famous vulture is being properly fed and getting stronger every day.
“When we first took him, he was in very bad condition,” said Hoot, adding that the bird was underweight.
Smiling, he puts on gloves and carefully handles the majestic creature — blowing it a kiss.
Hoot said the bird will be released in two months when he believed Nelson will have regained his full strength and his wing — broken somewhere during his journey — will have healed.
“We thought at first it would take six months for him to heal, but now we don’t think it will be more than two months,” he said.
Hoot said that Nelson was not able to find any source of sustenance in Yemen.
“They can eat carcasses of dead animals, but now there is no more with the current situation of war.
“This is what forced him to come down and stopped him from completing his journey.”
The four-year conflict in Yemen has unleashed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations, with millions facing famine.
The war escalated in March 2015 when a coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, intervened to bolster the efforts of Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Since then, at least 10,000 people — most of them civilians — have been killed and more than 60,000 wounded, according to the World Health Organization. Other rights groups estimate the toll could be much higher.