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Resource ID: #26621
This is the first story to investigate and map out in detail how Al-Qaeda established a foothold in Syria after the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011. It explains how the group now known as Islamic State used the Syrian conflict like an incubator, to rejuvenate, recruit and draw human and material resources to its base in Iraq via Syria. The story explains how the under-equipped, poorly organized moderate rebels lost ground to the increasingly influential Jabhat al-Nusra; how the West watched as a new, reformed and ultimately more dangerous version of Al-Qaeda quickly rose in Syria and reduced the space for others to operate in. Among its major findings, the piece lays bare how the Syrian government's release of jailed Islamists from its notorious Sednaya prison early in the revolution provided a ready-made network for Al-Qaeda to exploit.