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International Politics

The Middle East is Upside Down

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You know things are screwed up when an Al Qaeda group is releasing a US hostage held for two years just to show that they are less bloodthirsty than the Islamic State!

That is what the New York Times reported today in one of its leading stories. According to the article (1) the Nusra Front released Peter Theo Curtis, an American freelance writer covering the Syrian civil war, after months of intense negotiation with Qatar acting as intermediary. According to the article, no ransom had been paid for Me. Curtis’ release, which is consistent with US policy: that is why Americans tend to be beheaded while Europeans are kept as lucrative investments. (2)

The timing of the release, just two weeks after the murder of James Foley, cannot be coincidental. With President Obama promising “relentless pursuit” towards his assassins and further stating that airstrikes into Syria might be necessary to deal with ISIS (3), Nusra apparently saw the writing on the wall. Or to be more precise, they heard the roar of American aircraft and wanted to move the bullseye well clear of themselves.

You have to know that your days are numbered when even the violent Al Qaeda jihadists disown you!

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You know your group is in trouble when even the radical bloodthirsty extremists disown you for being too violent

Sources and Notes:

1 Rukmini Callimachi, “US Writer Held by Al Qaeda Affiliate Is Freed After Nearly Two Years,”, The New York Times, 25 August 2014;
2 Rukmini Callimachi, “Paying Ransoms, Europe Bankrolls Qaeda Terror,” The New York Times, 29 July 2014
3 Myles Burke, “Barack Obama: US will do what it must against ‘cancer’ of ISIS,” The Telegraph, 20 August 2014

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