Topic - Aaron Zelin

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    Al Qaeda reveals true role in Syrian insurgency

    The Syrian extremist militia Jabhat al-Nusra is a branch of al Qaeda's coalition in Iraq and has been all along, the umbrella group Islamic State of Iraq acknowledged Tuesday — a move that shows the blossoming self-confidence of salafist jihadis about their role in the revolution raging in Syria.

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  • Aaron Zelin, who works for both the London-based International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, notes that Sheikh lived about three hours from the hometown of Samir Khan, the editor of an English-language al-Qaeda magazine who was killed in a drone attack in Yemen.

    American jihad: U.S. officials worried over number of citizens headed to Syria →

  • "I obviously don't agree with that analysis," said Aaron Zelin, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Peace who penned a paper examining the extremist strands within Syria's opposition forces. "I think it's somewhat naive because all the key offenses in Syria and all the key liberations of cities during 2013 have been led by Islamist forces."

    Al Qaeda's strength with Syrian rebels now being downplayed →

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