We’re constantly told that there are no Muslims, none, zero, zip, nada, in Western countries who hold to the same view of Islam as al-Qaeda and other jihad groups. Yet we constantly also see evidence to the contrary — but the mainstream media and government officials persist in ignoring the implications of this.
“Australians answer the Syria jihad call,” by Paul Maley and Cameron Stewart for The Australian, April 13:
THE number of Australians believed to be fighting in Syria has doubled in less than six months to about 200, and ASIO is concerned that at least 100 are fighting for radical al-Qa’ida offshoot, the al-Nusra Front.
The Weekend Australian understands the Gillard government is preparing to ban al-Nusra, which has emerged as one of the most formidable brigades in the disparate coalition of groups that makes up the Syrian opposition movement.
Senior government sources said last night the listing of al-Nusra as a terrorist organisation under the criminal code was under “active consideration”.
Al-Qa’ida in Iraq announced this week it had merged with al-Nusra, also known as Jabhat al-Nusrah, placing it in the top echelon of radical jihadist groups.
The move has deepened fears among security analysts that the opposition to Bashar al-Assad has taken an increasingly Islamic hue, with extremists filling the vacuum left by poorly co-ordinated rebel forces.
In March, Foreign Minister Bob Carr included al-Nusra in the UN sanctions regime targeting terrorist groups, a move that mainly targets funding of the group. “There is evidence that al-Nusra has direct links with al-Qa’ida in Iraq, which supplies it with weapons, recruits and equipment,” Senator Carr said at the time.
More alarming though, is the rapid increase in the number of dual Australian nationals who have been drawn to the fighting.
Less than six months ago, security agencies believed about 100 Australian passport holders were participating in the two-year-old conflict, most of whom were Lebanese dual citizens. However, that has greatly increased, with one senior government source saying the current figure was closer to 200. It is understood about 100 of those are fighting with al-Nusra….