FROM ISIS TO A-NUSRA: Abu Ibrahim, responsible for Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham’s sharia affairs in outer Hama, announced his defection from ISIS to join Jabhat a-Nusra last week. The Egyptian fighter justified his defection by labeling Jabhat a-Nusra the “true representative” of al-Qaeda in Syria, not ISIS.
“I am the Egyptian immigrant Abu Ibrahim. I announce my defection from ISIS to Jabhat a-Nusra,” he said, wearing a black hat emblazoned with al-Qaeda’s black and white logo, which includes the Islamic shahada, or declaration of faith: “there is no God but God and Mohammed is his Prophet.” Abu Ibrahim described himself as responsible for sharia affairs in “partitioned” east Hama around ISIS’s military headquarters in the Qasr bin Warden neighborhood.
Abu Ibrahim, who says he joined ISIS on June 17th, 2013, said he had turned to Jabhat a-Nusra after he and eight other fighters complained about ISIS’s aggressive behavior in the town of Kafr Nabl in Idlib province. In response to his complaints, he says, he was stripped of his weapons and equipment. (Last week, a media activist from the well-known Kafr Nabl Media Center described his arrest and detention at the hands of ISIS.
“The Free Syrian Army are our brothers, while ISIS labels them kufar (infidels),” Abu Ibrahim added.
The defection comes as fierce clashes continue between ISIS and Jabhat a-Nusra across northern Syria. In a-Raqqa, ISIS advanced near the Hitien school on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.