Syrian Civil War: Australian Rebel Recruiters Arrested

Men were sending Australian nationals to join al-Qaeda-affiliated group

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Daniel Munoz / Reuters

People shout slogans against the Syrian government during a rally against the governments of Syria and Egypt in central Sydney Sept. 1, 2013.

Simultaneous raids in Sydney suburbs on Tuesday morning led to the arrest of two men accused of sending six Australian nationals to join Syria’s rebels. The recruits were to fight alongside al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra.

One of the arrested me is reportedly a ringleader. “We have identified who we believe is the principal person involved in … sending people over to Syria to engage in the conflict,” said New South Wales commissioner of special operations Catherine Burn, according to AAP.

(MORE: G’Day Damascus: Australians Are Joining Syria’s Rebels in Surprising Numbers)

Australian Federal Police deputy commissioner of national security Peter Drennan estimates around 100 Australians are currently involved in the two-year-old Syrian civil war.