AFP reports: The head of Syria’s jihadist Al-Nusra Front on Wednesday pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in an audio message, but distanced his group from claims it had merged with Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
“The sons of Al-Nusra Front pledge allegiance to Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri,” Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani said in the recording.
But, he added, “we were not consulted” on an announcement by Al-Qaeda in Iraq chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Tuesday of a merger with Al-Nusra Front.
“We inform you that neither the Al-Nusra command nor its consultative council, nor its general manager were aware of this announcement. It reached them via the media and if the speech is authentic, we were not consulted,” Jawlani said.
He added that the group would not be changing its flag or its “behaviour.”