Reuters/Hamid Khatib-Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra members gesture while posing on a tank on Al-Khazan frontline of Khan Sheikhoun, northern Idlib province May 17, 2014.
Profiling Jabhat al-Nusra
Though the world’s attention remains transfixed on ISIS and the immediate threat the group poses, Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, is perhaps a greater threat to the world’s long-term security. In this analysis paper, Charles Lister profiles this highly significant jihadi movement, providing an overview of its evolution since 2011, and describing its methodological expansion of military, civil, political, and religious influence in Syria. Lister examines the ideology and strategic vision of Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as the the group’s structure, recruitment tactics, and governance style. Lister also includes a discussion of the future of Jabhat al-Nusra, and offers recommendations to policymakers on how best to combat the group.