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Al-Qaeda In Iraq Seemingly Confirms Al-Nusra Front Is Part Of Network

The Iraqi wing of Al-Qaeda has said for the first time that a rebel group at the forefront of the rebellion in Syria is part of its network.

The leader of the Islamic State in Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, said his group and Syria's Al-Nusra Front would now be called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

His comments were made in an audio message posted on April 8 on jihadist forums monitored by the U.S.-based SITE intelligence group.

The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately verified.

The Al-Nusra Front has joined other rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's forces in Syria.

Its affiliation with Al-Qaeda has long been suspected, and the United States designated the group a terrorist organization in December.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP