Monday 25/05/2020 - 12:14 pm

Terrorists of Idlib: One-way ticket to Europe

By: Khodor Awarki

2018.09.14 01:02

While the exits available for "Abu mohamed al-Golani" to leave Syria are few, the end of al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria appears to be imminent. Will terrorists in Idlib await their fate or have they already started the reverse migration to the countries from which they had come.

Are they capable of overcoming the Turkish hurdles through which they need to pass in order to arrive to Europe?

Sources in Idlib indicate a tide of reverse-migration, which started a few weeks back, particularly since the Syrian authorities in Damascus have imposed their control over southern regions near the Jordanian borders and reaching the borders of the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

Al-Qaedas terrorist organizations in Idlib comprehended that regional international consensus was the green light for the Syrian army to invade their areas of residence. Thus, the decision to migrate was the solution for those holding non-Syrian passports.

According to sources, the escape routes exceed the ability of Turkish gendarmerie to control the operations of the Turkish smuggling mafia, which has a huge, eight-year old infrastructure in Turkey, and cooperates with the terrorists. The fence built by Ankara at the Turkish-Syrian border becomes illusory when the transport of the passing plight becomes a huge source for bribes and immediate fortunes.
Exceeding of the fact that the terrorists indeed have tunnels which trespass all hurdles and represent a safe passage from Idlib into Turkish territory.

Partial bequeathing of Huras al-Dein by al-Nusra:

Ironically, the extremist Ahmad al-Sharaa’, known as Abu Muhammad al-Golani – who, along with his partners, is responsible for the killing, wounding and displacement of millions of Syrians – has been using his peers from the Damascus neighborhood where he had lived for almost two decades (Mezzeh Sharqia, Entrance of al-Akram Street), including a person named Muhanad M. – one of the most important fund launderers for al-Qaeda between Idlib, Turkey, and Dubai.
Will the UAE inherit al-Golani’s funds which could never pass through Dubai without its knowledge?

Will “al-Golani’s MTA” work in Dubai without the knowledge of its security systems?

Or will al-Golani, who has accumulated millions of dollars through international aid during years past when Bashar al-Assad’s enemies believed it possible to overthrow him by supporting al-Qaeda with money and arms?
However, Ahmad Hussien al-Sharaa’s responsiveness with the Turkish attempts to find a solution to avoid another Aleppo and Ghouta situation in Idlib by al-Golani abandoning his terrorist organization, even if ostensibly, and declaring its dismantling, is quite interesting.
Will al-Golani also abandon the money he has accumulated from the border-passages with Turkey on the one side, and passages with areas under the regime’s control on the other side, in addition to the donations from charities in the Arab Gulf, which have publically funded al-Golani’s organization?

In addition to dismantling the organization or fatal fighting, are there any other options in front of al-Golani?

Certainly, al-Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria ) organization has never been in a fatal fight before. They have made several settlements and withdrew in the famous green buses of the regime from more than one battle. However, where will they withdraw to from Idlib?
It is related to the political and security coordination about Idlib between the Russians, the Turks and the Iranians. Those acquainted with the details of the agreements being worked out among delegations comprising the experts of the three sides in Geneva confirm that the fate of Idlib is the same as that of Ghouta, taking into consideration the foreign fighters. Thus, the Idlib file will take longer to be closed.
Special information from Idlib highlight preparations by al-Nusra Front leadership to transport its battalions to the leadership of another organization in a blatant attempt to manipulate names in order to offer al-Nusra’s regional allies an opportunity to maneuver their fates. Huras al-Dien (Guards of Religion) are the name of the heir organization brought to the front months ago.
The most recent move aimed at bequeathing Huras al-Dein some of al-Nusra’s abilities took place a few days ago, on September 9th, when a large convoy of al-Nusra terrorists moved from Binnish near Idlib to the town of "Khan Sheikhun" in the countryside of Hama, and settled in the “Khazanat” area south of "Khan Shaikhoun".

The convoy included about 500 militants with their weapons, who later executed a deployment under the banner of “Huras al-Dein”. Most of them were masked and carried weapons on which slogans were changed from al-Nusra to Huras al-Dein, especially in the southern side of the city of Khan Sheikun in the countryside of Hama. They were also stationed on both ends of the road between Khan Sheikhun and Murk, specifically at the Blue Factory and Khazanat.

Who is the commander of Huras al-Dein?

One of the officials of al-Nusra – the Tahrir al-Sham Committee, called Abdel Moneim Ghazal. He was born in the village of Taftanaz and joined the ranks of the opposition at the beginning of action. He is considered one of the most important clerics in the city of Taftanaz. Al-Golani often frequented him. For example, on September 10, al-Golani visited Taftanaz and met with the new leader of Huras al-Dein, Abdel Moneim Ghazal. According to a local source, the meeting was held in the “Gherbal Haj Hussam Ghazal Building”.
The source claims that Huras al-Dein men in Taftanaz have talked about al-Golani’s visit after it was concluded in a maneuver to magnify the status of their leader, Ghazal.
The source adds that members of al-Nusra and Huras al-Dein gathered; wearing civil clothing and riding un-identified cars; a few hours before the meeting. Hours after the meeting, Huras al-Dein men organized local cadres to offer services to the city, such as paving roads and organizing electricity services. This indicates Huras al-Dein’s attempts to appease for the locals in order to strengthen their position. Such actions are not of a small organization which intends to flee the attacks of the regime’s army.
According to their data, it is quite clear that Huras al-Dein are under the immediate supervision of al-Zawaheri.

Facts about al-Golani’s person:

Ahmad Hussein al-Sharaa’ spent his childhood, adolescent and youth in al-Akram neighborhood in Mezzah al-Sharqieh.
For decades, his family lived in building no. 15 – in the “Iqtesadiyyin” gathering on Mezzeh highroad.

Close friends of al-Sharaa’ offered us information, some of which comply with information offered by his peers from his neighborhoods. However, some offered new information. For example, his brother, Hazzem, bombed al-Golani’s brother-in-law’s car before fleeing Damascus in 2012. The brother-in-law was one of the volunteers in pro-regime local armed groups.
His father, Hussein al-Sharaa’, owned a super market in which Abu Mohammed al-Golani worked with his brother, Jamal. Contrary to what the famous Twitter profile, ace-al-sham@, claims, Hussein al-Sharaa’ is not an engineer. He is rather a freelancer who owned a small shop which he expanded into a mini-market. He then illegally worked as an unregistered real estate broker. Facts also contradict claims made by “Lister”, a parasite who resides in Qatar and presents himself as an expert in Syrian Affairs. "Lister" pillages information about al-Golani in particular, and Syria in general, from Arabic-published public sources and presents it in English to foreign media, claiming that such information is special. For instance, he published al-Sharaa’s name in 2016, only sixteen hours after al-Golani’s real name was published on Asia News Agency, when al-Golani’s friend from adolescence identified him and provided the author of this article with the information and the name. "Lister" works by the rule “Be an American or a European who works in a research center then publish whatever you desire, however you desire.”

Al-Sharaa’s mini-market is located in a building in al-Akram. It overlooks the southern highway.

Ahmad al-Sharaa opened a small videogames center in the same building beside the mini-market. At the time, Counter Strike was at its peak, the most famous videogame, in 2000.

Until 2001, the family did not appear to be religiously extremist, when al-Golani joined the followers of al-Shafie Mosque imam in Mezzeh. Along with his neighborhood friends, he formed a closely-knit group whose religious extremism was their common factor.
Al-Golani moved with his friends to Saudi Arabia, where he remained a little over one year. They returned together before they all disappeared after 2003 when rumors claimed that they went to Iraq to fight the American invasion.

His brother, Hazzem, studied the law but worked in the customs, then in Joud company (Pepsi agents in Syria).
His brother, Ali, has been residing in Saudi Arabia for two decades.
The family’s neighbors in the building in which they lived know that the family is originally from Daraa, that they are relatives of the former vice president, Farouk al-Sharaa.
The title, al-Golani, might indicate that al-Sharaa’s origins go back to Golan. However, none of his neighbors from the building in which they lived for a long time mentioned such information.

The Golan Heights is the area occupied by the Israeli forces in 1967. Most of its residents were displaced to Daraa, Damascus, and Rif Dimashq.
Al-Sharaa’s acquaintances were surprised to find out that he was a commander of al-Qaeda. Even among his group in Damascus, he was not a prominent member. The most prominent was a man named “Laith Abbas”, the group’s leader before going to Iraq. Abbas lived in the same neighborhood as al-Sharaa, but he comes from al-Qaryatayn.
Laith was an athlete who lived in al-Rahwanji building.
Laith Abbas led the group through its journey to Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
Some of al-Golani’s close friends: Nowras Mkhallalati (said to have executed a bombing against civilians in Iraq before 2011), and Anas T. who now lives in London and appears to be the exact opposite of al-Golani. Anas T. never fell into extremism.
Among his neighborhood peers, al-Golani was known to be born in 1984. Another man born in the same year, who was his colleague in school for six years, ironically works for the Syrian authorities. Being a background communication man, his work is closely tied with the security systems. Since the beginning of the crisis, he has been working on the negotiations and reconciliations file.
Al-Golani never graduated college. One of his closest friends, Muhanad M., now lives in Dubai and frequently travels to Turkey. Special information confirms that the latter has emerged on the Exchange market in Dubai after 2011.
Personal information from a former member of al-Golani’s neighborhood group, and one of his closest friends, indicates that Muhanad M. transformed overnight from an unemployed man into the owner of one of the most important exchange companies in Dubai. The source, who is a political opposition, confirms that Muhanad M. is one of the holders of funds of the Syrian al-Qaeda.
It is interesting that Muhanad M. has established a partnership with the son of one of the money whales in Damascus before a friend of them, who was a diplomat, intervened and drew their attention to the fact that their partner might be the launderer of al-Golani’s money. Whether known by the UAE authorities or not, he will eventually fall.

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