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May 29, 2014 10:38 am

Al-Qaeda in Syria Reaches Israel’s Border

avatar by Steven Emerson

The flag of Al-Qaeda. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Violence from the Syrian Civil War has periodically spilled over onto Israeli territory. Now, Syrian Islamist fighters hoist the al-Qaeda flag and praise Osama bin Laden just a few miles from Israeli troops.

According to The Jerusalem Post, a video posted by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front shows the terrorists in sight of Israeli vehicles patrolling the border.

“This view reminds us of the lion of the Mujahideen, Osama bin Laden, on the mountains of Tora Bora”, stated a leader of the Nusra Front in the video.

Last year, rebels briefly conquered the Quneitra border crossing with Israel.

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The rebels currently control many rural villages in the surrounding area.

Western intelligence sources believe approximately 60 insurgent groups are fighting in southern Syria and are relatively better coordinated than the divided rebel groups in the north.

However, radical Islamist terrorist organizations including the Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham are strengthening and undermining the larger rebel brigades supported by Saudi Arabia.

Roughly 2,000 Nusra Front terrorists are operating in the area, demonstrating significant organizational skills in contrast to the infighting characterizing the more secular rebel groups.

Nusra terrorists control dozens of checkpoints from the Golan Heights to the Derraa on the Jordan border, supplying their fighters with basic necessities and garnering more popular support. Residents say that Nusra courts are now focused on various legal and humanitarian issues, including family disputes and transferring financial assistance to the poor.

As the more moderate rebel groups lose popular support, Islamist terrorist organizations will likely continue to strengthen. Al-Qaeda’s expanding territorial control on the border with Israel is an extremely concerning development in the Syrian Civil War.

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