Category Archives: Al Aqeda

American Friends, American Enemies: from Syrians to Al Qaeda to Houthis……….

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Strange state of American foreign policy these days. There are cases and situations where allies and foes can be exchanged:

  • The current leader of America’s allegedly closest ally (Israel) and the U.S. president intensely dislike each other. It is obvious they have little respect for each other. Mr. Obama knows that Benyamin Netanyahu bears him ill will, besides being a habitual liar who can’t be trusted (imagine, a politician lying to another politician!). Most Western European leaders also believe the same. Mr. Netanyahu clearly believes that the U.S. president is a weakling who is not willing to launch an attack on Iran on Israel’s behalf. In fairness nor did George W Bush, but Netanyahu would never dare openly defy Bush.
  • Mr. Obama believes that a nuclear deal with Iran is better than yet another American war waged against yet another Muslim country. Especially given the doubtful outcome, the cost-benefit of that war. America’s closest allies outside Europe, the Israelis, and the ruling potentates and princes of some Persian Gulf states, strongly object to almost any feasible deal.
  • The Republican leader of the U.S. Congress has invited Mr. Netanyahu to deliver a speech to a joint session of Congress, just after President Obama’s State of the Union Speech. Basically they are inviting  a foreign leader to respond to the U.S. president. Inside the U.S Congress! Unheard of anywhere in the world.
  • Mr. Obama also now has problems with some of his Arab allies regarding Syria. He and his advisers and most the American foreign policy establishment have revised their position on the Syrian civil war. Most have realized in the past year or so the real danger in Syria now is not the survival of Bashar Al Assad, but what will come afterwards. They were hoodwinked by Saudi, Emirati, and Qatari potentates into betting on the Free Syrian Army, which also did a good job of selling itself to some gullible and jingoistic American senators like McCain and Graham and the not-so-dearly-departed Lieberman. The Free Syrian Army soon morphed, most of it, into Al Nusra Front and ISIS and other groups of kidnappers and cutthroats. 
  • The Americans and the Syrians and Hezbollah and the Iranians are now fighting the same enemy, the Jihadis. For now. Eventually, the Americans would like for Al Assad and Iran and Hezbollah to go away (I am not sure where they can go since they live in the region). Eventually the Syrians and Iranians and Hezbollah would like for the Americans to go away (also not feasible any time soon).
  • To complicate matters, there pops up Yemen, hardly felix now. In Yemen, the United States is trying hard to stem and roll back the regional Al Qaeda branch (AQAP) mainly by bombing its Saudi and Yemeni leadership. So are the new power wielders in Yemen, the Houthis who now control the capital. Yet the Gulf states, especially the Saudi princes and the UAE potentates, don’t approve of the Houthis. Besides their faith which is an offshoot of Shi’ism, they are also suspected of being too close to the Iranian regime. You can’t get any more heretical than that from a Wahhabi point of view. The Houthis do sport some silly Iranian-like anti-American slogans on posters in Sanaa, but it is not clear (to me) if their heart is in it. Nor where they stand ideologically regarding an Iran-style theocracy.
  • So the Houthis fight Al Qaeda. The Houthis are reported to be supplied by Iran, although they don’t seem to carry advanced weapons, unlike Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Americans fight Al Qaeda. Both Houthis and Al Qaeda fight the previous dominant tribal oligarchs of Yemen. Al Qaeda also as usual kidnaps and/or kills any Westerners (or Shi’as) they can get their hands on. Then there are the separatists of South Yemen who would like to regain the independence they lost in 1990. Complicated? Just hang on, it is going to get even more complicated in the coming weeks.
  • Then there is Lebanon, a place the Israeli military seem unable to stay away from. Once I likened it to the moth unable to resist the light and the fire, and cleverly if I may say so. We shall leave Lebanon, and Iraq, and North Africa for another day.

Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter

Friedman Dumps Faithful Abdo for Two Saudi Intellectuals…….

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“Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, one of the most respected Arab journalists, wrote Monday in his column in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: “Protests against the recent terrorist attacks in France should have been held in Muslim capitals, rather than Paris, because, in this case, it is Muslims who are involved in this crisis and stand accused. … The story of extremism begins in Muslim societies, and it is with their support and silence that extremism has grown into terrorism that is harming people. It is of no value that the French people, who are the victims here, take to the streets………….. “Muslims need to ‘upgrade their software,’ which is programmed mainly by our schools, television and mosques — especially small mosques that trade in what is forbidden,” Egyptian intellectual Mamoun Fandy wrote in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat…………”

Friedman has finally dumped his all-wise Arab taxi driver. Abdo in Cairo, Abed in Beirut, Abul-Abed in humorless Jordan have all been ditched in favor of something new (at least new to me). Something he considers loftier (I disagree on this one). Friedman has settled on the prototype of great Arab thinker and intellectuals. And where did he find both? In a newspaper owned by Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Yep, in Prince Salman’s Asharq Alawsat. That font of intellectual power.

Al-Rashed, who is “one of the most-respected Arab journalists” but only in Riyadh and the Gulf states. He used to be the editor in chief of Asharq Alawsat, and is now general manager of Saudi semi-official Alarabiya network but also moonlights in Asharq Alawsat. Both parts of the vast Saudi royal media that spans the Middle East and Europe. Mr. Fandy is ‘very close’ to the Saudis. I remember him mainly for ranting during the late Mubarak months, maybe 2010 0r 2009, about the Muslim Brotherhood members of the tame parliament being Iranian agents and that they should not be allowed in the puppet Mubarak parliament. Apparently he thought that parliament was not puppet enough (the next one will surely be puppet enough). I mean, you can’t get any more intellectual than that.
Now one of them wants a million-man Arab march, but of course a march not in Saudi Arabia, the incubator of Wahhabism. I recall last time a million Arabs marched was in Cairo in 2011. They were eventually betrayed and the old Mubarak regime is back in power, even more beholden to Saudi and UAE money.

Besides, it is impossible to get any prominent Arabs, besides Mahmoud Abbas, to publicly claim that “Je suis Charlie”. Almost universally Arabs believe that Charlie Hebdo blasphemed the Prophet, which it did of course (the French are deep into blaspheming, and not just against Islam). Unless Friedman and his “intellectual” pals can get Generalissimo Al Sisi and a certain ailing old king to set the tone by joining the march. The palace muftis can also tag along for the ride.
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Ancient Black Flag Revolutionaries: Abu Muslim of Khorasan and Marwan the Jackass………

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A bit of high school history here:
Why is no leader of this Wahhabi “Khorasan” group called Abu Muslim Al Khorasani? Given their penchant for noms de guerre starting with Abu and their use of Khorasan (a province in northeastern Persia/Iran)?
Abu Muslim Al Khorasani (also reportedly a nom de guerre) was the original man behind the original ‘black flag’. A Persian, he led the forces of the Abbasid, the original black flag revolution that overthrew the Umayyad dynasty which ruled from Damascus, in the eighth century (A.D.). The last Umayyad Caliph was named Marwan, he was nicknamed by some Al Homar (the Jackass) for obvious reasons.

After the Abbasids took power and started their dynasty, they started to eliminate their former allies and potential future rivals. They started by beheading the man who made their revolution possible, Abu Muslim Al Khorasani.

The Abbasids ruled for five centuries, often through Persian and Turkish surrogates and top ministers. The Abbasids were more cosmopolitan than their predecessors: they intermarried extensively with other ‘subjected’ peoples. They also shared administrative duties, unlike the extremely tribal Umayyads who kept power and influence within their own tribal kin.

The Abbasid rule was ended by the Mongols who sacked Baghdad and trampled the last Caliph, al-Must’asim, to death under their horses hoofs (reportedly after rolling him inside a nice Persian carpet).
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

ISIS and Her Sisters: New Wahhabi Attractions Coming to a Shopping Mall Near You……

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““There are clear signs that what they are doing now is to test Baghdad’s defenses and to gauge the reactions from Shia militias and the Iraqi army,” says a senior U.S. intelligence official based in the region. The information the jihadists glean from these operations can help them formulate specific attack plans. What impresses the official, and other analysts in the region, isn’t just how expert and disciplined the jihadists are being in their approach to Baghdad, but they are doing this at the same time they are consolidating their hold on towns they have seized elsewhere—and they have launched a major offensive against the forces of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Last week, the caliphate seized another major oilfield in Syria. On Thursday the group’s fighters targeted Syrian army bases outside Raqqa and in Hasaka and Deir el Zour. IS celebrated the assaults by posting online photos of headless ………………..”

This is not the main course, what the Wahhabi terrorist group is doing in Iraq and Syria. This is just the appetizer for what will come whether ISIS succeeds in keeping its foothold in the ‘Levant’ or not. Appetizers don’t last long. The domain or Caliphate of IS itself will not go beyond certain regions of Iraq and Syria; in the end it will control much less territory than it has now, if any.

It is not even IS itself, but the terrorist groups and activities it will soon spawn (is now spawning) across Europe and North America. The longer IS remains ascendant, the more groups it will spawn around the world, and the more affiliated and unaffiliated copy-cat terror groups will emerge inside and outside the Middle East, including in the West.

Al Qaeda may now be just another fish in the pond, the Mediterranean or the Atlantic pond, the gateways to the West. IS itself will be eclipsed, even if it survives in some form. There will be others competing for the honor of being the bloodiest Wahhabi mass killers in the West.

The title of this post: New Wahhabi Attractions Coming to a Shopping Mall Near You……… may not seem so far-fetched in a few months or years.


Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

A Wahhabi Neocon Explanation for the Rise of ISIS and other Terrorists…………

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“There has never been any doubt in my mind that elements within Iran’s security services have facilitated ISIS,” Col. Derek Harvey told Foreign Policy, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, a terrorist network-cum-jihadist army that has now taken over territory in Syria and Iraq that, when combined, is roughly the size of Jordan. “When given opportunities to interdict, or have an effect, [the Iranians] have refrained.” Harvey, a retired Army intelligence officer and senior Central Command advisor, was emphatic that any solution for containing the rising threat of ISIS, an al Qaeda breakaway group, must foreclose on the possibility of U.S.-Iranian collusion. ………… Intelligence reporting during this period, Welch added, suggested that Iran was indeed funding “al Qaeda-type elements” in Iraq as well as Shiite militias such as Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Kataib Hezbollah, both of which are now said to be playing a major role in fortifying central Baghdad and Shiite-predominant cities and towns in southern Iraq. Iranian documents captured by U.S. forces in Iraq in 2007 did indeed state that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC) was helping Sunni jihadists along with Shiite militias ……………”

This Neocon piece is closely following the Saudi Wahhabi marketed script on Iraq and Syria and the origins of the ISIS and al-Nusra Front. The Saudi strategy has been to divert attention from the fact that these terrorist groups and militias are Wahhabi movements with roots close to the power structure in Riyadh. The fact that they are the products of the triple alliance of: the Wahhabi religious doctrine which distorts Islam, the Saudi educational system, and Saudi oil money.

The extensive campaign to absolve Wahhabism from the modern rise of terrorism has been so audacious as to try and blame some of its primary victims. Some elements of American media and retired former officials and generals have been pushing this as well. Some Neocons are happy to adopt this even if it rewrites the history of Al Qaeda to blame anyone but their Arab allies.

Sectarian fault lines in the Arab world should exist, if they must, only in a few countries of the region from the eastern Mediterranean to the Gulf. That is where the populations are divided, that is where Iranians have made political and economic inroads into Arab territory. That is also where the Wahhabis have counterattacked with the only weapon they can rely on: the sowing of sectarian division and hatred. That is why the Wahhabi Salafis and their allies quickly took over the Syrian uprising in 2011 and made it into a sectarian civil war, drawing in Lebanese factions from both sides (and not only Hezbollah as is commonly misrepresented in Western media). That is also why the Wahhabis sent their mercenary forces to help crush the Bahrain uprising and worked hard to paint it as a sectarian movement inspired by Iran. That is also why the Wahhabi princes early on painted Iraqi politics as purely sectarian (they are sectarian but no more so than in most other Arab countries, and less than in some like Saudi Arabia for example). In doing so, and in sending their money and terrorists to commit mass murder in Iraq, they helped widen the Iraqi sectarian and political divide.

Even in the countries of North Africa, where the sectarian issue should be irrelevant, where there are few Shi’as and the population is mainly divided among Sunni Muslims and some recently converted to Wahhabism. In Egypt, now fully back under the Saudi sphere of influence, much of the political and religious classes occasionally tend to ignore their serious major problems and go sectarian: they profess that they are facing a Shi’a threat. That is the way to conform to this new Wahhabi Arab age. That same trend now extends west from Libya to Morocco.

Is this Wahhabi sectarianism spreading to Washington? Congressmen and senators and (mostly former) generals are eagerly taking sides. Will we soon hear senators discussing comparative Shi’a and Wahhabi theology like so many mullahs and shaikhs and imams?


Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

The Islamic State: ISIS Morphs into a Caliphate, World Cup Goes On……

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Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (another tale mentions Islamic State of Sham or Levant instead of little Syria) is no more. A new state called The Islamic State was born. A nutjob of a Wahhabi cutthroat who calls himself Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi just interrupted the World Cup games to announce that he has become the new Muslim Caliph (Khalifa) of the new state. Thus he preempted the three other potential claimants who aspired to the job: Turkey’s Recip Erdogan, the King of Morocco, the King of Saudi Arabia. Most of the world did not pay immediate attention as they were in a state of shock at the garbage-time penalty the Mexico-Netherlands referee awarded the latter and the Costa Ricans completely frustrated and defeated the Greeks in Brazil.

A leader of the rival Wahhabi gang, Al Nusra Front, a guy named Abu Maria Al Qahtani, pooh-poohed this declaration by the interloper and pretender of ISIS (or ISIL). Apparently he was angling to declare himself the new Caliph, even with the handicap of a name like Abu Maria.

What should we make  of all this? To start with it is a clever move, not specifying fixed borders for the state. This Abu Bakr (or even Abu Maria) could be holed up in a cave and it would still be The Islamic State to his fans. He could be in jail awaiting execution and he would still be in The Islamic State.

Some tribal Wahhabi Salafis on the Persian Gulf, the usual suspects who funded and preached for the Syrian Jihadists, have already started a support group for this new Wahhabi state. They call it the “Popular Drive for the Nusra of the Iraqi People”.


Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

Economics of Terrorism in Iraq and Syria: Follow the Money if You Can………


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“The extremist group that is threatening the existence of the Iraqi state was built and grown for years with the help of elite donors from American supposed allies in the Persian Gulf region……….. But in the years they were getting started, a key component of ISIS’s support came from wealthy individuals in the Arab Gulf States of Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Sometimes the support came with the tacit nod of approval from those regimes; often, it took advantage of poor money laundering protections in those states, according to officials, experts, and leaders of the Syrian opposition, which is fighting ISIS as well as the regime. “Everybody knows the money is going through Kuwait and that it’s coming from the Arab Gulf,” said Andrew Tabler, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Studies. “Kuwait’s banking system and its money changers have long been a huge problem because they are a major conduit for money to extremist groups in Syria and now Iraq.”…………..”

The money
, it all comes down to the money. Any army or militia needs a source of money: zealotry alone is useless. God will surely not help an army or militia that is flat broke. Thousands of Wahhabi terrorists in Iraq and Syria would not function long without money, a lot of money. It is not money from captured oil fields in Iraq and Syria. It is not from taxes in impoverished western Iraqi regions. It is not locally printed money. It is not from ransoms paid for hostages: most of the hostages are poor pilgrims or soldiers who can’t afford a ransom. It is hard currency, mainly U.S. dollars. I have posted on this in the past, more than once. Yet nobody seems able to discover the exact source and route of the money. Correction: we can guess the sources of the money, but nobody wants to come out and say it publicly and do something effective about it. And who has that kind of money, to spend many millions without having to get anyone’s approval?

In the case of Kuwait the writer exaggerates: it has been the pro-Wahhabi elements of the private sector that aid and abet the Jihadis, rather than the government. In the case of Qatar and Saudi Arabia (and possibly the UAE) the situation is different: the princes and potentates started throwing money and weapons at the Jihadis in Syria early on. Some of the same princes and potentates are still at it, financing the terrorists even as official policy seems to be against it. Instability in Iraq has always been part of the strategy of the princes and oil potentates.………… 

is what I posted one year ago about The Economics of Jihad in Syria
“Local Kuwait media report that the tribal Islamist opposition has called for a mobilization for war in Syria (they called it for Jihad in Syria). A bunch of former opposition tribal Islamist MP’s held a sort of tribal charity ball but stag, a large gathering of men to start a campaign to raise money to equip and arm 12 thousand ghazis (ghazi is Arabic for invader, raider, meaning here Jihadi) for Syria. They have called for every family (that listens to them) to equip and arm one Mujahid to go to Syria to fight. One of them suggested that 700 Dinars (about US $2400) would prepare and send a Jihadis to battle in Syria. (No idea if this amount covers one or multiple multiple wives). That of course does not cover the current cost of operations: food, bullets, shelter, bribes, booze, weed, women, etc. All that minus current revenues: whatever can be looted as war booty or obtained as ransom for hostages the FSA and Jihadist militias like to take (they are avid hostage-takers and are still holding two Christian bishops and two other priests hostage, in addition to many Alawis and Shi’as). Some of the well-heeled tribal Islamists at the gathering contributed new non-Islamist cars. One gave a new heathen-made Chevrolet Suburban, another donated a new infidel-made Mercedes-Benz. One former member of parliament got a family to pay for the arming and equipping 28 ghazis (raiders or Jihadis) for Syria. Another former member deposited funds to cover three Jihadis………………”

If $2,400 will send one terrorist fighter to Syria or Iraq. One thousand jihadis would cost $ 2.4 million (as a starting fixed cost, not counting current expenses). Add all other expenses over time, and you do the rest of the math. Take into consideration that the $2,400 might just be a ‘teaser’, a hook, to get things started.



Jihadist Blitzkrieg in Iraq: Unsustainable Un-Islamic Warfare……


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“Militants stormed the Turkish consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Wednesday and kidnapped 48 people including the head of the diplomatic mission, a Turkish government official said. “48 Turks including the consul, staff members, guards and three children were abducted,” the official told Agence France Presse, speaking on condition of anonymity. “All are doing well,” the official said. The kidnappings came a day after the Mosul consulate said fighters from the powerful jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized 28 Turkish truck drivers. In a spectacular blow to the Shiite-led government in Iraq, jihadists spearheaded by ISIL on Tuesday seized Mosul, its surrounding region of Nineveh and areas of Kirkuk and Salaheddin province…………Militants also took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners, police said, the second provincial capital to fall in two days………”

Jihadists have got some more oil fields under their control now. Let’s us see if the Turks will buy their oil. They have also apparently taken Tikrit, hometown and graveyard of the late non-lamented president Saddam Hussein. He has been freed, for the time being. Now if Iraqis settle back on reelecting the incompetent Al Maliki again as prime minister, they are in for a miserable year or two, and they would probably mostly deserve it. 

Even if, as I know, this Jihadist blitzkrieg and its gains are not sustainable. Eventually they will be rolled back, but eventually also sounds ominous. 
Come to think of it, Blitzkrieg is supposed to be un-Islamic, a heathen style of war only reserved for non-Muslims. Only Germans and Israelis are supposed to wage such heathen war: they have proven that they know how to use the panzers and tanks, we only know how to use microphones and television studios (and Twitter). Blitzkrieg is supposed to be kosher for them but definitely not halal for us. After all it sounds both German and Yiddish, hence it is haram


Hopeless Jihadi Manifesto: Rebels of Syria, Unite! Sans Marx and Engels………


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“The largest coalition of Islamist rebels in Syria issued a manifesto over the weekend that calls for the increasingly fractious rebels to unite around the notion of liberating the country from the government of President Bashar Assad and installing a free state that will protect the rights of religious minorities, not an Islamist state. The position spelled out in the statement, titled the “Revolutionary Manifesto of the Islamic Front,” marked a reversal of a policy articulated last year that called for creating an Islamist state after the defeat of Assad. Analysts and observers agreed that the statement seemed directed at the international community, particularly the United States, which has been reluctant to support widespread military aid for the rebels over concerns about radicalism. he statement, which was released as an audio posting on jihadi websites…………….” 

An interesting “manifesto” by the so-called Islamic Front, but many days late and many dollars short. The old one by Marx and Engels was more eloquent and more succinct. There is nothing new here in spite of some gushing by the usual Western think tank analysts and experts. Hell, even I would call for them to unite just out of curiosity if not out of any good will toward these sectarian Jihadis.
One major problem with these rebels is that they all want everybody else to unite…….. behind them. Even Saudi-appointed Ahmed Al Jarba controls only his own media room in Turkey and all the GCC media microphones. He also travels to Washington and Europe, which can be fun but he controls about as much ground inside Syria as old Joe Lieberman and John McCain did. 
Their other and main problem is that the tide and momentum of the civil war turned last year, and the other side is winning every battle now. Al Assad’s days are not as numbered now as they were three years ago. Au contraire, he has outlived a gaggle of predecessors of Al Jarba, and if the war continues another year, he will almost certainly outlast Jarba as well.

Nano Rebellion in the Syrian Swamp: from Al Nusra to FSA to Furqat Hassaballah to Abu Lahab…….


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Nano Rebellion is what I can call the Syrian case. So many factions and groups and sub groups and sub-sub factions, all allegedly on one side. Splitting and sprouting and spawning new groups in the swamp that is the ‘Syrian opposition’……….” I, moi, я, ich, ana, ma,n…….

“The existence of Katiba al-Bittar al-Libi as a front group for ISIS perhaps reflects a wider pro-ISIS trend across central North Africa with the Ansar ash-Shari’a movements in Tunisia and Libya. In the former country, Ansar ash-Shari’a takes an official pro-ISIS line that dates back to at least the summer of last year (likely explaining the disproportionate number of Tunisian fighters in ISIS’ ranks). In the video linked to, Ansar ash-Shari’a in Tunisia’s official spokesman hails ISIS for making “the Jews, Rafidites [Shi’a] and Nasara [Christians] cry” in addition to freeing Muslim brothers from their prisons. In a document dated to 26th June 2013 and written by Sheikh Abu Ja’afar al-Hatab, a member of the organization’s Shari’a committee, it is argued that “the bay’ah [pledge of allegiance] of Jabhat al-Nusra is false in every aspect, so whoever pledges bay’ah to Jabhat al-Nusra, his bay’ah is corrupt, and there is no bay’ah to him or on him, and the members of Jabhat al-Nusra must repent to God and switch their bay’ah to the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham.”………….”
Nano Rebellion is what I can call the Syrian case. So many factions and groups and sub groups and sub-sub factions, all allegedly on one side. Splitting and sprouting and spawning new groups in the swamp that is the “Syrian opposition”. New factions and groups and militias split or emerge almost every day
Syria‘s civil war evolved from early protests in 2011 into a civil war. It probably would not deserve the title of “civil war’ if it were not for the various tough Jihadist groups that entered the country and were joined by some locals. At one stage the so-called ‘more moderate’ rebels groups were so fractured that they became ineffective on the ground. That is why the rest, including the Free Syrian Army and the SNC, came out strongly in support of Jabhat Al-Nusra (Nusra Front) when the United States correctly condemned it as a terrorist group. They knew it was the only effective military force, relatively speaking. 
Now that particular advantage of the more extremist Jihadists has dissipated with the breakup of some groups into factions and the emergence of new groups. 
Of course in Syria it is all relative: moderates can kidnap and cut throats and hold for ransom as well as the extremists. They can kill civilians of other faiths or sects as eagerly. It is all a matter of degree. The regime can and has inflicted more damage on towns and casualties on civilians only because it has better and heavier weapons (both sides are happy to use whatever they have). Not necessarily because it is more vicious than the rebel militias.

Syrian rebel groups are becoming harder and harder to follow and distinguish. Some of the names are bandied about in the media and there are probably others started in garages that I have never heard of, even as I write this. A few of the names are just anticipations on my part (lol if you must):

Islamic State of Iraq and Ash-Sham (ISIS) –Jabhat al-Nusra – Not Quiet Free Syrian Army – Islamic Army of Syria – Syrian Islamic Council (SIC) – Syrian National Council – Syrian National Coalition- Syrian Opposition Coalition – National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces – Supreme Military Council – Muhajireen Battalions of Syria – Islamic Front – Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union – Katiba al-Bittar al-Libi – Ansar ash-Shari’a (Supporters of Shari’a) – Ahfad Mohammed (grandchildren of Mohammed) – Kataeb Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubair (Brigades of ABZ) – Kataeb Al Bu Omar (Brigades) – Kataed Al Bu Lail (Brigades)- Jaish Al Q’aQa’a Army – Ahl Al Sunna Wal Jama’a – Jaish Al Qadisiya – Military Council Brigades – Kataeb Al Farooq Brigades – Jund al-Sham – Army of Mujahedeen – Ansar al-Islam – Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan – Junud al-Sham (Chechen group) – Liwa al-Tawhid wal-Jihad – Army of Mujahedeen – Harakat Fajr ash-Sham al-Islamiya (Syrian Dawn Islamic Movement) – Martyrs of Syria Brigades – Northern Storm Brigade – Ahrar Souriya Brigade (Free Syrians) – Liwa al-Haqq (Righteousness Brigade)- Liwa al-Tawhid (Monotheism Brigade) – Suqour al-Sham (Eagles of Syria) – Syrian Islamic Liberation Front – Liwa Fath al-Sham – Yarmouk Martyrs’ Brigade – Jaysh al-Muhajirin wa al-Ansar – Ghuraba Al Sham Free Officers Movement – Furqat Hassaballah (Hassaballah Band)  – Serial Polygamy Brigade – Syrian Tea Party – Diwaniyat Sho’ara Al Nabat (Nabati Poets Society)……..
The names of their leaders (often called Emirs) range from: 
Abu Qatada, Abu Mus’ab, Abu Shallakh, Abu Lahab, Abu Lam’aa (Al-Assli), Abu Bin Adham, Abu Tibin, Abu Sinatra, Abu Boo Boo, Abu Polygamy, among others………