Since the Arab Spring uprising of 2011, reports of terrorist attacks around the world have flooded international media. Syria, a country about one and half times the size of Texas, has become the central battleground for many terrorist groups; those the world often focuses on and has heard much of - such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also known as ISIS and Da'ash, but from here on referred to as ISIL) - and those the world rarely hears about and is unable to make distinctions between others - such as Jabhat Al-Nusra. Despite the lack of focused attention on its activities, Jabhat Al-Nusra (or the Nusra Front as it is sometimes referred to) has built quite a reputation in Syria and the greater Middle East for its seemingly endless supply of weapons, ability to ally with strategic partners, and its peculiar mix of international, albeit notorious, supporters inside the country.
Jabhat Al-Nusra's formal name is "Jabhat Al-Nusra li-Ahl al-Sham", or the "Victorious Support Front for the People of Sham (or Syria)" and the group first emerged on the international scene in early 2012 as a localized Syrian affiliate of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The group has carried out numerous terrorist attacks and kidnappings, and has been involved in a variety of battles against Bashar Assad's Syrian government forces as well as against other anti-government factions such as ISIL. The complexity of the Syrian Civil War is most definitely reflected in the complexity of the groups fighting for power within and around its borders; Jabhat Al-Nusra is no exception.