Washington Institute fellow Aaron Y.Zelin sent a private message through his twitter account @Azlan, to the leader of Al Qaeda of shoot Ahrar Al Sham, suggesting that he may help relay a message to his supporters in the US State Departement.
"Any personal message you want to send to the people in the state department who want to support you? I'm talking with them in the morning my time"The Ahrar Al sham's leader answered with "My reply to your message will be in public", and followed through by leaking out the private message in a tweet.
This tells us two things, first that there are people within the State Department that support ALQaeda and Zelin knows who they are. Secondly,think tanks like the Washington Institute , are acting as mouth pieces for Al Qaeda to stir up support in the US State Department.