Al-Qaeda's Syrian Affiliate Says It's Cutting Ties, But Is It Really?

Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate is attempting to rebrand, but can it really detach itself from its parent organization? Probably not.
Al-Qaeda's Syrian Affiliate Says It's Cutting Ties, But Is It Really?

The leader of Syria's Al-Nusra says his group is splitting from Al-Qaeda. He made this announcement dressed exactly like Al-Qaeda's old leader. 

But is Nusra really dropping Al-Qaeda? 

Well, that's certainly what the headlines reported, but Nusra's leader never explicitly said he's breaking ties with Al-Qaeda. 

"For the aforementioned reasons, we declare the complete cancellation of all operations under the name of Jabhat Al-Nusra, and the formation of a new group operating under the name 'Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham,' noting that this new organization has no affiliation to any external entity," said leader Abu Mohammad Al-Jolani. 

So it's declaring a name change and no "external entities." 

SEE MORE: Is Russia Dropping Incendiary Bombs On Syrian Civilians?

But here's the thing: Al-Qaeda's already working with Nusra inside Syria. A man sitting next to Nusra's leader during his statement is believed to be a longtime Al-Qaeda operative. The video also praises Al-Qaeda.

Here's what National Security Agency Director James Clapper had to say: "So I think this is much more of a, as I say, a PR move. And whether or not they actually are separating from Al-Qaeda, I think that remains to be seen."

This video includes a clip from CNN. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

Featured Stories
House Speaker Paul Ryan

House Republicans Delay Vote On Bill To Repeal And Replace Obamacare

Robert Bork and President Ronald Reagan

'Borked': How A 1987 SCOTUS Nominee Still Affects Nominations Today

Emergency services treat a victim near Westminster Bridge.

The UK Parliament Attacker Was Investigated For 'Violent Extremism'