August 25, 2014
al-Nusra The Kinder Gentler al-Qaeda Franchise?
An American hostage held by rebels in Syria for 22 months has been freed after Qatari mediation, just days after a video showed a fellow US journalist being beheaded by jihadists.That's a pretty smooth move by al-Nusra, taking advantage of the ire against ISIS by presenting themselves as the more moderate al-Qaeda.
"Finally he is returning home," US Secretary of State John Kerry said late Sunday, confirming the release of Peter Theo Curtis, a 45-year-old author and freelance journalist whose disappearance had not been previously reported.
Curtis was handed over to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights and after undergoing a medical checkup was transferred to US representatives, the United Nations said.
Possibly in hopes of enlisting US help against al-Nusra and allowing the al-Qaeda Central approved version of the franchise to regain the power it enjoyed before the rise of ISIS.