Syrian Rebels post images of Burning US Capitol
Appears on Facebook page of al-Aqsa Islamic Brigades
(NBC NEWS) As debate grows over the extremism of some armed factions battling to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, an incendiary illustration on the Facebook page of one such group leaves little doubt where its leaders envision the uprising ending – with masked Islamic fighters marching through Washington, D.C., as the U.S. Capitol burns in the background.
The image is one of eight photos posted on the official Facebook page of the “Al-Aqsa Islamic Brigades,” a small armed Sunni rebel faction fighting with the Free Syrian Army, the main umbrella military organization of the opposition forces. Two other photos posted on the group’s page feature the widely recognized black flag of the al Qaeda in Iraq terrorist group, which operates freely in Syria.
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A Facebook image of a team of Syrian rebel fighters called the al-Aqsa Islamic Brigades that shows them masked, armed and marching from a burning U.S. Capitol leads intelligence analysts to ponder: Perhaps the anti-Bashar Assad forces are also anti-American.
Moreover, the image isn’t just a tiny icon on the page. It’s the banner illustration, plastered across the top of the group’s page, and the masked militants are revealed after clicking on the picture.
“As a group that claims affiliations to the generally pro-Western Free Syrian Army, it is difficult to reconcile the fact that is has plastered such a lurid anti-American image as the banner on its own official Facebook page,” said Evan Kohlmann, a senior partner with the security firm Flashpoint Intelligence, to NBC.
The group is a faction of Sunni rebels within the larger Free Syrian Army unit. Two other pictures on its Facebook book show the black flag of the Iraq al Qaeda terrorist group. At the same time, al-Asqa has yet to be designated a terrorist group by the United States, NBC reported.
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