Al Qaeda’s American spokesman announced in a recent statement that the takeover of Syria is the next target in the terror group’s plan for Islamist revolution in the Levant.
Adam Gadahn, the U.S.-born al Qaeda member, stated in a video message posted July 9 that after Libya, Syria is the next stop for jihadist revolutionaries. He also urged the growing faction jihadist rebels in Syria not to cooperate with secular, western-backed rebels fighting the regime of Syria’s Bashir Assad.
“My brothers in Syria must realize and be certain that their battle is basically and fundamentally with the Jews and those who support them from the states of the Crusader West and their agents like the Syrian regime and similar parties,” Gadahn said.
Gadahn, 34, is a senior al Qaeda operative and spokesman. He is on the FBI’s Most Wanted terrorists list and was indicted by federal court in California on treason and material support to al Qaeda charges.
According to the al Qaeda spokesman, toppling the Syrian regime is a step toward defeating Israel and taking over Jerusalem and the al Aqsa mosque.
Gadahn said Syria’s Islamist rebels must “place Jerusalem, Jaffa, Gaza, Hebron, the Golan, and Haifa before your eyes, and hold on to the weapons and munitions which are in your hands, and do not hand them over to anyone, even after the fall of the regime, for the fall of the regime will be followed by battles and victories. And do not put aside your weapons until you have liberated all of Palestine from the sea to the river and made the banner of Islam fly high over all of the countries of the Levant."
Al Qaeda’s Al-Sahab Establishment produced the hour-long video for Media Production, the official propaganda arm of the terrorist group.
Gadahn states that Islamist rebels must not support efforts by the United States, France, Britain, Russia, Israel, and the United Nations to preserve their interests in Syria, using regime defectors and former Syrian government officials as a post-Assad government.
He urges Islamist rebels not to allow arms support from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Persian Gulf states to coopt Syrian rebels.
Also, Gadahn urges Islamist rebels to reject a future democratic regime in Syria, claiming such a government is a “conspiracy” to weaken Muslims.
“Therefore, I call on all of the armed brigades, local coordination committees, revolutionary councils, and noble individuals in the political opposition to make it a sweeping revolution against the resolutions and interferences of America and its international community and to make their movement an Islamic jihad” to build a Muslim state, he said, adding that the rebels goal should be “the setting up of the Islamic state in the country of the Levant.”
“A little patience and a few sacrifices, and then the war will come to an end, the dust of battle will lift, the clouds of smoke will disperse, the rivers of blood will recede, and you will see your country pervaded by security, peace, and the justice of Islam—God permitting—in direct opposition to the desires of the Crusaders and Jews,” he said.
At one point in the broadcast, Gadahn said the Syrian jihadists’ battle “is not with any other sect, group, or state.”
Analysts said Gadahn’s mention of battles with other sects or groups is an indirect reference to the growing rift within and among different terrorist groups in the Middle East that emerged as a result of the civil war in Syria.
The conflict has produced a major split among al Qaeda terrorists over whether to formally align with jihadist rebels in Syria. It also has pitted al Qaeda-dominated Sunni terrorists against Iranian-backed Hezbollah Shiites. Iran, which is backing the Assad regime, uses Hezbollah as its proxy in the region.
A Syrian jihadist group calling itself “Brigade 313—Special Missions” announced July 9 that it carried out a car bombing in Beirut that day against Hezbollah that killed several of its members.
“We will strike gatherings of the Lebanese [Hezbollah] everywhere in Lebanese territory, and we will hunt down the remnants of this terrorist unit in any country until they cease their participation in the shedding of Syrian blood,” the statement said.
Also, last month, Syrian Sunni militants announced they had conducted missile attacks against Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon.
U.S. officials said a rift among jihadists over Syria began in April with the announced merger between the Iraqi al Qaeda group Islamic State of Iraq and the al-Nusra Front rebels in Syria. The merger was then declared null by al Qaeda leader Aymen al Zawahiri. But the internal battle, described by one official as a “crisis,” has continued.