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On Thursday last week, the Nusra Front seceded from its parent organization Al-Qaeda and rebranded under the name Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, a move many experts labeled as merely a name change.Nusra Front's decision to sever ties with Al-Qaeda resulted from internal pressure from local Syrian elements in the organization, more moderate figures such as Abu Maria Qahtani, and other Islamist factions such as Ahrar al-Sham, according to Syrian Sheikh Hasan Dgheim, a preacher who follows Islamic factions.Al-Qaeda appears to have considered the move for several months now. According to a report published in May in the Middle East Eye, Al-Qaeda had also sent Rifai Taha, a co-founder of the Egyptian militant group Al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya, to Syria to stop fighting that had erupted between Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham and convince Nusra to forgo their global jihad and cooperate with other factions. On the other hand, Nusra's secession from Al-Qaeda may also translate into the disaffection of the group's hard-liners.
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