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Who is Golani, Nusra's No. 1 man?

Al-Monitor has exclusive information about the life of Abu Mohammed al-Golani, the leader of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra). Witnesses talked about his jihad in Iraq and his journey back to Syria from where he announced the formation of Jabhat al-Nusra in 2012.
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ISTANBUL, Turkey — Shalal and Amer (pseudonyms of two Syrian men interviewed by Al-Monitor) never believed that the supermarket they worked in more than 10 years ago near al-Akram mosque in the Mezze district of Damascus would turn out to belong to the family of a man who, even after revealing his face for the first time, continues to make the headlines. The man is Abu Mohammed al-Golani.

When Golani, the emir of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (Conquest of Syria Front), formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, appeared on Al Jazeera on July 28 without his cloak, several stories about his origin emerged in Syria. While some believed he was from Deir ez-Zor, others said he was from Damascus. Still others said he was from Daraa. But when seeing his face, Shalal and Amer confirmed to Al-Monitor that Golani’s real name was Ahmed Hussein al-Shara, who is originally from Daraa but lived in Damascus.

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