Al Qaeda, the terrorist group formerly headed by Osama Bin Laden and responsible for the 9/11 attacks, has declared war on ISIS.
The move comes in reaction to a speech made by the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi 14 months ago in which he declared himself the leader of all Muslims.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who has been the head of al Qaeda since the death of Bin Laden four years ago, released an audio statement condemning ISIS on Wednesday.
Zawahiri said: “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 them for what they claim of a caliphate.”
Previously al Qaeda had not been willing to openly condemn Baghdadi and ISIS, despite the growing divide between the groups.
National Counter-terrorism Centre Director Matthew Olsen said: “It’s pretty interesting… it highlights how deep the division is between al Qaeda leadership and ISIS. It suggests that the differences are irreconcilable.”
Questioned on what would happen if instead the groups had attempted to realign and join forces Olsen stated: “It would be terrible.”
The simmering tensions could prove invaluable for Western forces wishing to exploit the rift and attempt to drive a wedge between the jihadi groups and those fighting in Syria and Iraq.
[Via: Yahoo News]