About half a year ago, in an unprecedented move, the Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard tried to pass a bill to prohibit the US government funding terrorists. As Gabbard repeatedly supported, there is no such thing as 'moderate rebels' in Syria. Every group under plenty of names there, has only one mission: overthrow Assad government. Gabbard said clearly that the US and its allies in the region, support all these terrorist groups under various names.
It appears that another fact justifies Gabbard's position, as the US and Canada, unexpectedly avoided to enlist a supposedly new organization as terrorist group. Specifically, as CBC reports:
In early 2015, al-Qaeda's international leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, thought to be hiding in Pakistan, set al-Nusra free of its formal subordination to al-Qaeda. "The brotherhood of Islam that exists among us is stronger than any passing or changing organizational ties," he said in a taped statement, instructing the group to integrate itself into the wider Syrian revolt. Al-Nusra changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Front for the Conquest of the Levant), and continued to gobble up other Syrian jihadi groups, often by force.
But the West wasn't buying it. The U.S. and Canada simply added the new name as another alias of al-Nusra on their terrorist listings. Both countries are normally careful to capture all the aliases of terrorist groups, including minor variations in spelling and punctuation. (Islamic State has 46 permutations of its name listed by Public Safety Canada; al-Nusra has six).
But then in January of this year, the group shifted again, nominally dissolving itself and joining with four other jihadi groups. It altered its name, changing the word "Jabhat" (Front) to "Hay'at" (Organization), and "Fateh" (Conquest) to "Tahrir" (Liberation).
The military commander of the group continues to be al-Jawlani, whom the U.S. has branded a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. On Wednesday, the U.S. government posted a $10-million reward for him. The reward notice states that al-Nusra is "at the core of HTS," which is led by a triumvirate that also includes Egyptian Abu Khayr al-Masri, the number two of the global al-Qaeda organization.
The U.S. State Department's Nicole Thompson told CBC News on Monday: "We're still looking at the extent of the merger and how Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham really functions, but we believe these actions are an al-Qaeda play to bring as much of the Syrian opposition under its operational control as possible, thereby making groups that merge with HTS part of al-Qaeda's Syria network."
"In that sense, it is not unlike the formation of the Mujahideen Shura Council in Iraq in 2006, which eventually brought the better part of the Iraqi Sunni resistance under al-Qaeda's control and morphed into the Islamic State of Iraq that same year."
And yet HTS has not been designated in the U.S. as a terrorist group. Canada, which usually follows the U.S. listing closely, has also not listed the group.
Recall that, Gabbard received intense criticism from the warmongering establishment for actually pursuing the most reasonable development: stop the US taxpayers' dollars from going to arm and fund terrorists.