|Dr. Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, as pictured on his Twitter feed. Banners commonly |
used by al Qaeda-affiliated groups are on the wall behind him.
"Pro-U.S." Saudis Backing al Qaeda
Let's mind our own business and allow
Darwinism to work its magic in Syria.
Dr. Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, a popular Saudi cleric who has relocated to Syria, has used his highly trafficked social media presence to endorse the new Islamic Front formed by some of the leading Syrian insurgent groups. He has also called for the Islamist coalition to cooperate with al Qaeda’s two official branches inside Syria.
Al Muhaysini’s messages have been released on his official Twitter feed and YouTube page. As of this writing, his Twitter page has more than 240,000 followers, while his videos posted on YouTube regularly receive thousands of views. Al Muhaysini’s Facebook page has received more than 30,000 likes.
Another Twitter feed established by al Muhaysini (@us_4_all) is billed as the best place for news about Syria and currently has more than 224,000 followers reports the Long War Journal.
Al Muhaysini announced his relocation to Syria in early October. The Saudi claimed he was banned from traveling abroad, but made the trip anyway. Upon his arrival in the Levant, al Muhaysini sought to play a conciliatory role.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, or Levant (ISIS), one of two official al Qaeda branches in Syria, has quarreled with other jihadist groups, including the Al Nusrah Front (the other formal al Qaeda branch) and Ahrar al Sham, which is a leading member in the new Islamic Front. These groups frequently coordinate their operations, but ISIS has often proven to be a problematic partner. The disagreements have even boiled over into occasional skirmishes.
Al Muhaysini swiftly proposed that a common sharia court be established, with each of the leading jihadist groups contributing two judges. The court would adjudicate disputes between its members. Al Muhaysini even said that the new court’s rulings should be made public such that Muslims worldwide could read the decisions for themselves.