From al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) on, there are several different al-Qaeda-styled factions hoping to make a name for themselves in the Syrian Civil War. Among the most successful in recent weeks has been the al-Nusra Front.
The group has become one of the major rebel forces inside Aleppo, Syria’s largest city which has been contested in a bloody battle for several weeks. This isn’t the first we’re hearing of the organization, however.
Rather their real claim to fame has been several ugly attacks on media outlets they perceive as too friendly to the regime or insufficiently friendly to the rebels, including a June attack on Ikhbariya TV, in which they executed seven of the channel’s employees, and last month’s kidnapping and execution of TV presenter Mohammed al-Saeed.
In addition to fighters the group has one of the more advanced media wings among rebel factions, and seems to have designs on establishing itself as the de facto official media of the Islamist portion of the rebel movement.