Road to the Caliphate: April 10, 2013

Primary Source:

Audio message from Jabhat al-Nuṣrah’s Abū Muḥammad al-Jawlānī: “About the Fields of al-Shām”

Ahmad Muaz al-Khatib (post 1 and post 2)

Secondary Sources:

In Syria, the Jihadist Campaign for Hearts and Minds |

Al Nusrah Front leader renews allegiance to al Qaeda, rejects new name – The Long War Journal

Nusra Front members in Syria have never masked al Qaida ties | McClatchy

Jabhat al-Nusra Declares Allegiance to Al-Qaeda – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

From The Archives: The Founding of Jabhat al-Nusrah

On January 22, 2012, a new post on the Shamukh al-Islam Forum teased a big announcement from Syria. It included the below banner:

Urgent: Soon… The Expected Historical Moment – Glad Tidings to the People of al-Sham!!

A day later, on January 23, Jabhat al-Nusrah announced itself via its al-Manarah al-Bayda’ Foundation for Media Prouction, which included an audio message from the leader of the new group Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani.

Now… Glad Tidings to the People of al-Sham – al-Manarah al-Bayda’ Foundation for Media Production presents “Declaration of the Support Front (Jabhat al-Nuṣrah): For the People of Syria from the Mujahidin of Syria in the Fields of Jihad”

A week later, I wrote a short analysis of the video, maybe the first, if not one of the first to look at the group before it became more well-known by the end of 2012. Interesting reading it back now a decade later, considering where its successor group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham is today and how Jawlani now is front and center compared to the first few years when he wouldn’t show his face. Here is the original video release:

Jabhat al-Nusrah’s original logo