Are Foreign Jihadists Gaining Influence Inside the Syrian Rebel Forces? | The Daily Beast
By Anna Therese Day
When I first met the man I’ll call Mahmoud, he refused to speak with me because he “hates America.” Carrying a conspicuous wad of U.S. dollar bills and surrounded by young Syrian men, Mahmoud caught my eye one evening in the lobby of my Turkish hotel on the border with Syria. Through a series of talks, I slowly discerned that he was from Saudi Arabia, that he had learned English in Canada, and that he was here to “help the Muslims of Syria in their jihad.”
One evening, 29-year-old Mahmoud explained to me that he ferries money, not guns, to the Syrian people. He said that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) can use the funds for humanitarian purposes or for weapons, but he just gives it to the officers and lets them make the decisions. “I’m just a soldier of Allah,” he told me.