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JUND AL-SHAM

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Jund Al Sham is an indefinite amorphous Islamic militant organization. It is unclear if that organization is a production of Syrian intelligence or of Abu Musab al Zarqawi in Iraq or both. The name meanS “Soldiers of Mesopotamia”.  Al sham is the common word for greater Syria which stretches on all Mesopotamia.

The first appearance of that organization was, on 03/19/2005 evening, in Qatar when a car bomb, driven by a suicide bomber, the Egyptian Omar Ahmad Abdullah Ali, committed the Doha Theater Bombing. Doha is the capital of Qatar. One British citizen was killed and about 15 were wounded. That attack bears all the fingerprints of Al Qaeda in Iraq and meant to punish Qatar for its alliance with Western powers. Responsibility for the attack was taken by the Tanzim (organization in Arabic) Jund Al Sham.

At the same period of time at mid 2005 an ephemeral organization operating in the Palestinian refugee camp Ain al-Hilweh, near Sidon in South Lebanon, under the name “Usbat al-Ansar” (the victorious regiment) and clearly affiliated to Al Qaeda, began to call itself with a new name: Jund Al Sham. The leaders of that shadowy group are Ahmad Saady and Abu Yousef Sharkiya both, in their mid fifties, are originally from Nahr al-Bared in North Lebanon. A relative of Ahmad Saady – Abdel Karim Saady was one of Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s lieutenants in Iraq.

Syria itself claimed several times in 2005 and early 2006 that her security apparatus clashed with Jund Al Sham activists and managed to foil several terror attacks of that group in Syria. After an alleged terror attack in Qassioun Mountain near Damascus in 07/04/2005 USA officially announced, through the Pentagon’s spokesmen, on 07/07/2005, that the Qassioun Sootout was not a terror act but an attempt to arrest armed outlaws who fled the police.

Summary ;

It is not clear who is behind the activity of Jund Al Sham. It is a fair assumption that Jund Al Sham is a co-production of Syrian intelligence and the late Abu Musab al Zarqawi in Iraq on the basis that Syria will help to recruit and establish a network of Islamic terror cells under Abu Musab al Zarqawi supervision and he, in return, will from time to time provide services to Syria without the fingerprint of Syria so she cannot be blamed. It is, probably, a lesson from Rafiq Hariris’ assassination in Beirut on 02/14/2005 where too many evidences point directly on Syria as responsible for the murder. (The first appearance of that organization was on 03/19/2005).

 

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