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Hamid al-Ali: Nusra Front’s Life Line | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hamid Abdullah al-Ali. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Riyadh – Once again, Kuwait appears on the list of names of persons declared terrorist by the four states fighting terrorism, over 40 days since a previous list was issued. The list included Kuwaiti Hamid Abdullah al-Ali, a cleric who is not afraid to show his support to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (founder of the group that later became ISIS with the support of Qatar.)

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE issued a statement overnight on Tuesday blacklisting a new Hamid, who shares a black history with the Hamid who was named in the first list.

Hamid bin Hamad al-Ali is described as one of Qatar’s messengers and is known for his support for al-Nusra Front and ISIS despite the power struggle between the two organizations that share the same terrorist goals.

He studied Sharia at the Islamic University of Madinah, receiving a master’s degree in Tafsir and Quranic studies. Al-Ali served as a professor of Islamic studies at Kuwait University and was an orator in one of Kuwait’s mosques. He allegedly has several followers.

Nowadays, al-Ali, who is the former Secretary of the Salafist Movement, no longer orates and preaches religion because he was blacklisted by the UN Security Council in 2014. He was accused of cooperating with extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, which is close to the truth. In reality, he has, since ISIS’ formation in Iraq in June 2014, been a supporter of the terrorist group and an inciter through his Twitter account, which was suspended in September of that same year.

At the time Kuwait, pledged to commit to the UN blacklist order that bars his travel and freezes his assets.

Security Council reports said that al-Ali had attempted to mediate a reconciliation between the leaders of al-Nusra Front and ISIS and had met with their respective leaders Abu Mohammed al-Joulani and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He had also traveled to Syria several times to provide humanitarian and financial support in an attempt to cement the “united image” of the extremists on the field.

What he saw on the ground however did not meet his expectations. He wrote of the division on the field and spite among the ranks of the extremists. He persevered however and stressed that he will continue on pursuing reform.

Hamid had previously been arrested by Kuwaiti authorities, a few days after security clashes erupted between security forces and the pro-Qaeda Peninsula Lions sleeper cell in early 2005.

He was arrested after leader of the cell, Amer al-Enezi, was detained by authorities. Al-Enezi was a frequent attendee of al-Ali’s lectures at university and the mosque. Al-Ali was later released without charge.

Al-Ali had made several stance in support of al-Zarqawi and had even eulogized him upon his death.

As for his ties with Qatar, the most prominent stance he made was in 2013 when he voiced his support for the Ahrar al-Sham group.