Syrian Al-Qaeda-linked leader freely visited US, but State Dept. says it ‘didn’t know’
A Syrian militant group chief shielded from the UN terror list by the US despite its links to ISIS and Al-Qaeda reportedly had no trouble entering Washington on a European passport. The State Department refused to speak on “visa records.”
Labib al Nahhas, who calls himself “a chief of Foreign Political Relations at Ahrar al-Sham,” arrived in the US capital for a visit lasting a few days in December, according to McClatchy DC news. The report cites “four people with direct knowledge of the trip.”
As one of them told the network’s reporter, Nahhas arrived in the US to speak with “third parties” even though he would not elaborate further. The other speakers revealed a few more details about the visit, saying that Nahhas had been in Washington to meet with lobbyists and Middle East researchers.
Born in Madrid to a Syrian Muslim father and educated in the UK, Nahhas has been using his European roots to reach out to western officials on behalf of Ahrar al-Sham. In mid-May, Ahrar al-Sham admitted its involvement in a brutal raid at Syrian village, reportedly alongside fighters from internationally-recognized terrorist group Al-Nusra Front.