by Tony Cartalucci, Activist Post:
The RAND Corporation’s recent piece titled, “Al Qaeda in Syria Can Change Its Name, but Not Its Stripes,” all but admits what was already suspected about designated terrorist groups operating in Syria – that they are undergoing a transition in an attempt by their state sponsors to bolster their legitimacy and spare them from liquidation amid the shifting tides on the battlefield.
The piece, written by Colin Clarke described by the RAND Corporation as a “political scientist at the RAND Corporation and an associate fellow at the International Center for Counter Terrorism,” states:
Following recent infighting with other Syrian rebel groups in the northwestern part of the country, al Qaeda in Syria appears to have recognized the need to secure legitimacy and present itself to the civilian population it seeks to influence as an authentically Syrian entity.
However, this is not simply Al Qaeda’s objective – this is the objective of the United States itself as well as the Persian Gulf states it funnels money and arms through, fueling Syria’s destructive conflict since 2011.
Clarke continues by stating:
The most likely scenario is that the change in nomenclature is merely an attempt to buy time and live to fight another day. Indeed, the rebranding has done nothing to slow down the group’s operations tempo of conducting attacks.
And concludes by claiming:
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