Maybe this is a good thing. When murderers decide to murder themselves, even though I doubt this will happen between the world’s two most powerful Islamic terrorist groups.
Al Qaeda is not taking lightly to the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi‘s claim that he is the leader of Muslims worldwide. So why have they kept quiet since and what’s forcing them to speak up now?
A message, released online on Wednesday, Sept. 9, by Al Qaeda leader, Al-Zawahiri said:
“We have endured a lot of harm from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his brothers, and we preferred to respond with as little as possible, out of our concern to extinguish the fire of sedition.
“But Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and his brothers did not leave us a choice, for they have demanded that all the mujahideen reject their confirmed pledges of allegiance, and to pledge allegiance to them for what they claim of a caliphate.”
Al-Baghdadi had called on the world’s Muslims to “obey” him as the head of the caliphate in a rare public speech in Mosul, Iraq last year.
He said: “I am the wali (leader) who presides over you, though I am not the best of you, so if you see that I am right, assist me.
“If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God in you.”
Zawahiri said “everyone was surprised” by al-Baghdadi’s declaration and he had done this “without consulting the Muslims”.
A counter terrorism expert has said the move will ‘irreconcilably’ divide the two militant groups. Note that ISIS was a former affiliate of Al Qaeda but Osama Bin Laden renounced them for being to radical and non compliant.
ABC News quotes National Counter-Terrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen describing the new Zawahiri audio as an “interesting” development.
“Zawahiri until now has not been willing to openly condemn Baghdadi and ISIS. It highlights how deep the division is between al Qaeda leadership and ISIS. It suggests that the differences are irreconcilable,” he said, suggesting that U.S. intelligence operatives could take this opportunity to goad ISIS and al-Qaeda into more
gunfights and assassinations.
Other intelligence analysts quoted by ABC agreed that the split between ISIS and al-Qaeda, and perhaps a growing divide within al-Qaeda itself, should be exploited.
However, it should be noted that while Zawahiri had strong words for Baghdadi, he reiterated the willingness of al-Qaeda to fight alongside ISIS against common enemies such as the United States.