facebook
twitter
search
search

Al-Qaida emissary killed in suicide bombing in Syria

Feb. 24, 2014 at 10:36 AM

ALEPPO, Syria, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Al-Qaida's top emissary in Syria was killed in a suicide bombing after he was asked to mediate between the country's two main al-Qaida groups, officials said.

Abu Khalid al Suri, a founder of the Islamic rebel group Ahrar al Sham, was killed in an attack by rival Islamic rebels Sunday in Aleppo, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Ahrar al Sham said Suri had been asked by al-Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri to help settle differences between the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's designated representative in Syria, and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, which al-Qaida recently disavowed.

Ahrar al Sham blamed ISIS for the deadly bombing, but ISIS denied the accusation.

Extremist rebels in Syria have been splintering, which is indicative of a broader split within al-Qaida's global organization, an expert told the Journal. The more hard-line factions have complained that al-Qaida has become less strident since Zawahiri took control after Osama bin Laden's death in 2011.

"At this point, it's a competition between al-Qaida and ISIS about who will become the beacon of the global jihadist movement and Syria is at the pinnacle of this," said Aaron Zelin, a fellow at the Washington Institute focusing on jihadist movements.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kurds plan to carve state out of Iraq after fighting stops, leaders say
U.S. airstrike kills one of first Islamic State members in Syria
Former Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachyov suing kremlin for $15 billlion
Van hauling fireworks catches fire on I-15 near California-Nevada border
July 4 terror threats an annual but necessary ritual, experts say