BY MUNA ALAMIDaily Star, Lebanon
Jordanian fighters have come to play an important role in the protracted Syrian conflict. Unlike the previous generation of Jordanian jihadists – Al-Qaeda leaders from a decade earlier who professed their belief in a global jihad – this new generation currently fighting in Syria is prioritizing regional and local causes.
Estimated to number about 5,000 members, Jordanian Salafist-jihadists are only one part of Jordan’s broader Salafist population, unofficially estimated to total 15,000 individuals (according to local journalist and Salafist specialist Tamer Smadi). Jordanian jihadists exist alongside traditional Salafists and Salafist reformers.
The Jordanian Salafist-jihadist community is among the biggest contributors of fighters to Syria. Salafist-jihadist experts believe that about 700 to 1,000 Jordanian jihadists are currently fighting there, roughly comparable to the number of Tunisian jihadists, who make up about 800 of those fighting alongside the rebels in Syria.
The majority of Jordanian jihadists in Syria have joined the Nusra Front, in which two Palestinian-Jordanians, Iyad Toubasi and Mustafa Abdul-Latif, occupy leading positions.
Read more: http://dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Commentary/2014/Mar-04/249138-jordanian-jihadists-are-on-the-rise.ashx#ixzz2v59rrkJW
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)