|Mohisni preaching in Syria|
Mohisni, whose uncle died in Deir Ezzor in April 2013 fighting with Jabhat al-Nusra, is very open about financing al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliates. While other Gulf sheikhs are also financing Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS), they generally avoid distributing photos of themselves meeting with high profile leaders from these groups (although other people have distributed these images). Mohisni does not appear to have any inhibitions about posting photos of himself meeting with ISIS leaders.
|Mohisni meeting with ISIS |
commander Omar a-Shishani
Like many other rebel financiers, Mohisni is also involved in more legitimate charity work. Mohisni actively supports the Jamia Rahma, a charity based in Mafraq, Jordan, which provides services to Syrian refugees. A number of celebrity Salafi sheikhs have participated in Jamia Rahma's programs including Mohamed Arifi and Nabil al-Auwadi. In general, the access that Salafi sheikhs now have to Syrian refugees is worrying as charitable work inevitably mixes with preaching. In fact, Mohisni praised Jamia Rahma for focusing its efforts on preaching to refugees.
Kuwait and Qatar's unwillingness to dissolve networks publicly fundraising for Jihadi groups in Syria has undermined Saudi efforts to shutdown financiers in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, prominent Salafi sheikhs are not only influencing the battlefield by providing money and fighters to sometimes foreign-led Jihadi groups, they are also influencing the next generation of Syrians through organized preaching to a vulnerable Syrian population.