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Fri Dec 23, 2011, 09:24 AM

Is Assad's regime behind the Damascus suicide bombings?

Today's twin suicide bombings in Damascus are reminiscent of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination in 2005; a suicide video message, alqaeda style, quickly followed. We had to wait for years to learn that it was not alQaeda, and to be reminded that authoritarian regimes' brutal intelligence services use Salafist networks for many purposes. The regime had helped for many years foster Salafist hardline networks to prop up alQaeda in Iraq through the Syrian borders. Potential suicide bombers in North Africa were flown on one way tickets to Damascus, then transferred to an alQaeda hub/hotel in Aleppo to be brainwashed and prepared for a suicide bombing mission inside Iraq. I remember doing so many interviews with American and Syrian officials analysing this route.

The bombers were not all foreign, Syria had also its Iraq volunteers. A source inside Syria, and specifically from Jebel Azzawiya in the Idlib region, where a massacre recently occurred against defectors, informed the Arab Digest that there are 7 thousand alQaeda Iraq fighters. These fighters make the core of the anti-regime guerrilla warfare force. The Arab Digest displayed videos, in which you could clearly see that the Free Syria Army (FSA) fighters look like the Taliban or alQaeda in action. Just like in Libya, defectors joined the well trained and experienced hard line Islamists in their fight against the regime. The fighters re-organised themselves in Libya (and in Syria) along regional lines.
After Today's bombings, there are only two scenarios: either the regime did it, or the FSA/alQaeda stands behind it.

One could say the regime is behind it for the following reasons:


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