The strategies and tactics of the al-Nusra Front (ANF) are working due to the nature of the organization, lessons learned from past AQ mistakes, and the writings and teachings of Abu Musab al-Suri. In 2005 al-Suri was arrested in Pakistan, but for some reason was released and handed over to Syria when the rebel uprising began. It is believed that he freely resides somewhere within Syria’s borders and his teachings are heavily influencing the strategies of the ANF.

In the early 1980’s al-Suri completed a work that detailed the reason why the Jihadist experience failed in Syria during the late 1970’s. His writings were a compilation of 17 reason why the movement failed. Two of the main reason that were illustrated as the key points to the failed revolution were:

1. Failing to gain public support

2. Being labeled as a ‘terror’ organization

Many analysts believe that these two key factors are why al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda failed in Iraq and why many other factions of AQ are not as successful as they could be if they would account for past mistakes, such as the aforementioned.

The current leader of the ANF is Abu Muhammad al-Julani. Al-Julani was a key figure in al-Zarqawi’s network of funneling extremists into Iraq via Syria. Due to his leadership role during that time and his vast experience in Iraq, his leadership of al-Nusra has been unquestioned since the forming of the faction.

How Has al-Nusra Fixed Passed Mistakes?

By following the writings of al-Suri and the lessons that he learned while fighting for AQI, al-Julani has reevaluated and softened their stance on other sects of Islam fighting in Syria. By doing this, they are holding stability and gaining trust between all rebel groups throughout the countryside.