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Jabhat al-Nusra, IS compete for foreign fighters

Concerned that the Islamic State has an advantage in recruiting foreign jihadists with its declared Islamic caliphate, al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, has declared an Islamic emirate.
Members of Islamist rebel group al-Nusra Front prepare a home made mortar in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood June 5, 2014. REUTERS/Hamid Khatib (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR3SE8K

ALEPPO, Syria — Jabhat al-Nusra did not deny the authenticity of the audio recording attributed to its leader Abu Mohammad al-Golani, in which he announced that he is seeking to establish an Islamic emirate in the areas where his militants are deployed. However, a statement issued on July 12 by the Manara al-Bayda, Jabhat al-Nusra's media channel, implicitly affirmed the authenticity of the recording and announced clearly that Jabhat al-Nusra is “seeking to establish an Islamic emirate," adding, "We have yet to declare its establishment.”

According to the Aleppo Media Center, Jabhat al-Nusra's leadership and militants held a high-profile meeting to discuss the restructuring of the organization. During the meeting, the attendants were surprised to see Golani unveil his face and promise his soldiers that they would establish an Islamic emirate.

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