Interesting: Abul Qa’aqa’a assassinated in Aleppo
A controversial Syrian cleric who went by the pseudonym “Abul Qa’aqa’a” within jihadist circles was assassinated today after Friday prayers in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. The assailant, who shot Abu Qa’aqa’a multiple times in the chest, was captured by bystanders, according to the wire report.
Abul Qa’aqa’a, whose real name is Mahmoud Qolaghassi, was denounced in jihadist circles as an informer for Syrian intelligence who was used by the regime to infiltrate jihadist circles. His task was to send young Syrian and Arab fighters to Iraq in order to fight the Americans.
A fatwa was issued as early as January 2004 by an obscure Iraqi jihadist group that had exposed Qolaghassi as a spy for the Syrian regime, and sanctioned his assassination.
In recent years, Qolaghassi had resurfaced as the regime-appointed principal of the shariah secondary school of Aleppo.
Jihadist websites had circulated footage of Qolaghassi singing and swaying last year as proof that he wasn’t all that religious or serious about jihad.
Today’s event is yet another indicator that jihadists are becoming more active in Syria, especially in Aleppo and in the rural belt around it. Five months ago, a jihadist cell held out for several hours while battling Syrian security forces in a farm to the south of the town of Zahra.
Organized crime—including large scale robberies and murders—has also been on the rise in Aleppo in recent months, according to sources there.
A U.S. military intelligence source had told me recently that they are witnessing the flight of many Al-Qaeda/ISI fighters from Iraq across the Syria border.
Syria could be a fertile ground for the jihadists, as I pointed out in this column.