The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released a video honoring a man who defected from the Lebanese Army to the jihadists’ cause before he was killed. The video, which was posted online last week, is part of Al Nusrah’s ongoing attempt to rally Sunnis to its cause by portraying the Lebanese government as an agent of Iran and its terror proxy Hezbollah.
The propaganda production begins with photos of Osama Mansur, also known as Abu Umar, who is described as a “martyr.” Mansur was “assassinated” by Lebanese intelligence in Tripoli, a city in northern Lebanon, Al Nusrah claims. Still photos of Mansur from both before and after his death are shown, in addition to clips from his funeral, which “thousands” of Sunnis purportedly attended.
Text is scrolled on the screen alongside footage from Mansur’s funeral. The “spark” of jihad was “ignited in Damascus” and has spread to Tripoli, “the land of heroes,” it reads.
Mansur and his comrades tried to avoid fighting with the Lebanese government, because they didn’t want to spill “innocent Sunni blood.” But they were left with no choice after they realized the government is merely a “puppet in the hands” of Hezbollah. Mansur and his friends then turned to jihad.
The Sunnis of Lebanon should follow Manur’s jihadist path, Al Nusrah argues, and “rise up before what happened in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen reaches” their home country.