In a speech released earlier today, Jabhat al-Nusra’s leader Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani revealed that his group would sever ties with Al-Qaeda and re-brand itself ‘Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham’.
Founded in 2012 and boasting tens of thousands of fighters, Jabhat Al-Nusra is one of the most power rebel groups in Syria. Yet remarkably the Al-Qaeda leadership has approved of the breakaway, which has been rumoured for some time.
The move is not only intended to make the jihadist group seem more moderate, but also to show that Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham has no intentions of conducting attacks outside Syria.
Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani now hopes to attract sponsors from foreign countries, something previously impeded by the group’s association with Al-Qaeda and its designation as a terrorist organization by most countries across the globe.