Militant leader in Syria seeks Islamic state, says his men do not fear death

1:49 PM, Nov 30, 2012   |    comments
Syrians stand near a burning truck that was destroyed by two car bombs in the Jaramana suburb of Damascus, Syria, Nov. 28, 2012, in this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA.
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RAS AL-AYN, Syria (AP) - A leader of an al-Qaida-inspired militant group fighting the regime in Syria says his men do not fear death and are determined to form an Islamic state.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the militant gave his name as Sheik Abu Ahmed, but acknowledged it was not has real his real name. He's a regional military commander in northern Syria for the group, Jabhat al-Nusra, that goes by the Arabic name for "the Support Front." It has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings and other attacks on regime targets across the country.

The commander says his fighters believe that if they are killed fighting President Bashar Assad's regime, they will be martyrs and "go to paradise."

He also says his group wants to see Syria adopt Islamic law, because it sees that law as "the right path for all humanity." He adds: "All these constitutional laws couldn't realize the people's happiness."

Syria's rebels have tried to disassociate themselves from the suicide bombings for fear their uprising will be tainted with the al-Qaida brand. The fear of Islamic extremism resonates deeply in Syria, which has many ethnic and religious minorities.

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