According to the Ba’athist Syrian government, a senior al Qaeda ‘ideologue’ has been detained in that country since 2009. Syria is reporting that Abu “Amr” Abd al-Hakim Hassan, a 70-year old Egyptian, is also in poor health.
Essa apparently had been one of the leaders in Pakistan attempting to overthrow the government there. The Asia Times is surmising that Hassan was sent to the Middle East in order to try and restart the insurgency in Iraq.
By sending the elderly Essa to the Middle East, rather than a military commander, al-Qaeda revealed once again that the aims of the group are to set ablaze the whole region by instigating a khuruj (revolt-like situation in Arab states) and to turn the region of Syria, Lebanon and Yemen into the strategic backyard of the Iraqi resistance. Recent incidents reflect that al-Qaeda appears to have had some success in this regard.
However, something seems off about the whole enterprise. Syria fully supported al Qaeda’s actions in Iraq before and along with Iran has a vested interest in having that country be in chaos. Not only does Syria have interests in Iraq, but if that nation were to remain a functioning democracy, it would be a threat to dictator Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Not to mention the fact that Hassan was captured last year and his arrest was only let out now. Something’s fishy here.