It is hard to detect the real SyrianÂ opposition figuresÂ these days as their numbers swell. New names emerge, new identities take shape, and new movements rise.
But there is a new category that the west, and especially the US Treasury Department must be aware of: Those ardent supporters who suddenly become ardent opponents. It is not by accident or by a warm change of heart. Rather, it is intended to fool a specific industry in pursuit of Assad’s assets in the west.
One of those unnamed persons (We will call her Ms. Fiery) is a young lady who happens to be an important assistant and friend to the Akhras family in London. Fawaz Al-Akhras is Assad’s father-in-law and father to Asma al-Assad, the Vogue-chaser of Syria. AsÂ trustedÂ as this young lady is, it was a shock for the Syrian opposition to discover that she has started attacking the Assad regime publicly.
Many would reason, upon watching political acrobats take their side, that the more the merrier. But in the case of Ms. Fiery’s Olympic jump, questions arise and skepticism sets in. This is not very far from Asma al-Assad taking a position against her own husband. Why does such a loyalist suddenly switch sides?
The answer lies in how Assad is hiding his assets in the west to avoid theirÂ ultimateÂ freeze. A loyalist turned oppositionist wouldÂ avoidÂ detection and investigation, or so they reasoned. If Ms. Fiery is a trustee to few hundreds of millions ofÂ DollarsÂ Assad pilfered from Syria and are deposited in some Swiss, Austrian, or Slovenian Banks, it would make perfect sense to insure she avoids detection by switching sides.
I believe there are many cases similar to Ms. Fiery taking place today across many countries. Simply anÂ attemptÂ by Assad to hide the trail of funds indispensable to mount a campaign of terror while sipping tea in Tehran or Caracas. Did Ms. Fiery, a highly intelligent woman, think through her role? That she may be the cause of hundreds more killed, kidnapped, and tortured? Her loyalty probably is blinding her to see what may happen down the road.
The EU and the US must be watching for loyalists-turned-oppositionistsÂ overnight. And there is no better investigative arm in the world like the US Treasury Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence headed by Daniel Glaser to get to the truth.
This sudden switch from a known commodity of violence to a freedom fighter must stay on our radar screens to avoid future violence and terror. Even at the expense of misjudging the real switchers.