During Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Syria on September 3, John Kerry dropped only one name of a person he could wholeheartedly trust in Syrian chaos. He presented to the US Senators an opposition leader Ahmad al-Jarba without providing too much detail. Perhaps senators do not care much about State Department’s protégé. But we do. So who is Mr. al-Jabra?
“Records reveal that official Riyadh handed over “the suspect Ahmad al-Jarba” to Damascus in 2008, on charges of drug trafficking, in accordance with an extradition agreement between Saudi and Syrian security services”,writes journalist Nasser Charara in the influential Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar.
Ahmad al-Assi al-Jarba is well-known not only to Saudis but also to Qatari and Syrian security services as a fugitive wanted for criminal offenses. At different times three countries with rival ideology and very strained diplomatic relations characterized him as a top white-collar criminal. Being “in business” for more than a decade he established deep ties with Prince Bandar (“Bush”) bin Sultan of the Saudi ruling clan. Shadowy past and Westernized image makes Ahmad al-Jarba a perfect candidate for political manipulation. A man in suit and tie compares favorably with stereotypical terrorists on the US television screen.
As Nasser Charara continues:
The records also reveal another entry involving Jarba, which the Qatari security services undoubtedly also have in their records, as the source said: After the coup staged by the outgoing Emir of Qatar Hamad against his father Khalifa al-Thani, the latter’s foreign minister fled to Syria, where he became a vocal supporter for restoring the previous emir. At the time, according to the records, Emir Hamad’s people asked Ahmad al-Jarba to assassinate the exiled Qatari foreign minister in Syria. Al-Jarba even received payment after accepting to carry out the mission, the source claimed.However, Jarba chose instead to expose the plot to the deposed Emir Khalifa, for which he also received a financial reward. The issue proved to have huge political consequences, prompting the Syrian state security agency to investigate and ultimately detain Jarba for a total of five months on counts of fraud.
No need to comment. The United States are going to replace president Assad by an uncontrollable, hypocritical and perfidious figure in Syria.
John Kerry presented Ahmad al-Jarba in Senate as a secular alternative to Al-Qaeda. The only thing he forgot to mention is that both brutal jihadists and spokesmen like Ahmad al-Jarba are sponsored by the same man – the chief of Saudi intelligence. This fact throws new light on Al Jabra’s “Syrian National Coalition” (SNC) attempts to wreck Geneva-2 peace talks. Saudi umbrella organizations are established to wage wars, not to seek diplomatic solutions.
The only way out of this zugzwang situation is to stop challenging legitimate government in Damascus and to leave way for a broad national reconciliation process in Syria under the guarantees of the great powers. All alternatives are leading to a deadlock.