Ansar Al-Sharia IS Al-Qaeda
By Walid Shoebat
The Muslim Brotherhood umbrella is very large and covers countless front-groups. Yet, westerners often trip over themselves while trying to identify individual terrorists as being responsible for any given attack. Then they talk themselves into believing that some of these front-groups are moderate and can be dealt with. What these westerners don’t want to admit is the other side knows its enemy’s weakness.
One such example has to do with the story behind how Ansar Al-Sharia came to be.
Muslim.org reports that Al-Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri received a letter calling for Al-Qaeda’s name to be changed to Ansar Al-Sharia for what should be considered an obvious reason. When the U.S. declares war on Ansar Al-Sharia, the name of the group implies that the U.S. would be declaring war on Sharia law, which would serve as an excellent terrorist recruiting tool.
Mareb Press also reported on this rationale behind the name change.
Al-Shorfa actually reported on Osama bin Laden’s involvement in giving Al-Qaeda a new identity:
“Osama bin Laden has expressed a desire to change the name of the organization, according to a prepared message on his computer, which was confiscated from his home in the Pakistani city of Abbottobad after his death. The letter revealed that bin Laden was aware that the organization needed to be ‘re-marketed’ and change its name to include the new organization so as not to be linked to the activities of al-Qaeda.” [emphasis mine]
The attacks in Benghazi carried the Al-Qaeda trademark. Yet, the Obama administration attempted to avoid identifying Ansar al-Sharia as having been involved. Why?
Let’s take a look at what Magharebia has to say in an article entitled, “Decline in the influence of al-Qaeda and the rise of Ansar al-Sharia”. Again, bin Laden’s wishes come into play:
“Moroccan researcher Abdullah Al-Rami shows that the Ansar al-Sharia groups of today are the ideological arm for human resources and financial support to al-Qaeda.”
He stated further that…
“…this was the last will of Usama Bin Laden.”
How about Almasdar, which announced:
“’Ansar al-Sharia’ announces for the first time that its leader is the commander of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Basir Louhichi.”
“Authorities and government officials were repeating that the group ‘Ansar al-Sharia’ is the same as al-Qaeda.”
The Al-Wafd Times reported, Ansar Al-Sharia is the new name for Al-Qaeda:
“Al Qaeda felt the name has become unfit since the revolutions of the Arab Spring, and some extremists who seek to impose a religious rule strictly on the area covered themselves with ‘Ansar Al-Sharia’, the name taken by many of the groups from Yemen to North Africa and apparently the latest manifestation of radical Islam after changing the system of the Middle East.”
As we have reported, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross gave testimony at a House Joint Subcommittee that Ansar Al-Sharia has “multiple branches in multiple countries” and in many of those countries, “they’re not engaged in terrorism on the ground”.
If Ansar al-Sharia is simply Al-Qaeda with a new name, does that matter?
The U.S. State Department has designated Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen as a terrorist organization that uses its name as an alias for Al-Qaeda. Yet, groups bearing the same name in other countries are not given this designation.
To put this into context, let’s go back to that Muslim Brotherhood umbrella. Underneath this umbrella is Ansar Al-Sharia, which is meticulously compartmentalized by the U.S. State Department as terrorist or non-terrorist based on geography. Does this make any sense? Aren’t Nazis in France the same as Nazis in Spain?
According to Hanein, a website dedicated to supporting terrorism:
“Ansar al-Sharia includes the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist and jihadist without distinction. For example the Brotherhood has the Farouq Battalion in Misratah and Salafi jihadist Raf-Allah Alsahati in Benghazi are two battalions that are respected and are quite popular in Libya for its significant role in securing the country and protecting property, citizens and the state, especially during the elections period of to establish the National Congress.”
Again, Gartenstein-Ross would prefer to make a distinction that America’s enemies refuse to acknowledge.