ISIS has been accused of pure ‘madness’ by the leader of another terrorist group, Al-Qaeda. The leader for Al-Qaeda accuses ISIS of ‘exceeding the limits of extremism’ and killing their own jihadis.
The leader of AL-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden in 2011, blasted ISIS for being ‘cowards’ with and says that they have a ‘thirsty desire for authority’.
From The Independent:
The leader of al-Qaeda has attacked Isis for “madness” and “exceeding the limits of extremism” as the two terror groups continue to compete for territory and supporters around the world.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded Osama bin Laden when he was killed in 2011, criticised Isis for killing and “slandering” his own jihadis.
In an audio message, he branded the rival group’s members “cowards” and liars with a “thirsty desire for authority”.
“Isis was struck with madness in takfir [declaring other Muslims to be apostates] and exceeded the limits of extremism,” al-Zawahiri said.
“They make takfir on the basis of lies, fabrications and even good deeds of obedience…[it is] is political, convenient and opportunistic.”
The extremist, who has had a $25m (£20m) bounty on his head since 9/11 and is under global sanctions due to his links to global terror attacks dating back to the 1990s, claimed Isis was “misusing the enthusiasm of the youth”.
His message was issued as an audio file in Arabic, being distributed on al-Qaeda channels and then translated and spread by supporters on social media.
It comes as pressure mounts on al-Qaeda’s numerous front groups and allies in Syria, with the US-led coalition increasingly turning its firepower on the group while Isis continues to lose territory.
American defence officials said more than 20 al-Qaeda militants were killed in north-western Syria in two rounds of strikes in the first week of January.
Analysts have long been warning of the group’s growing power in the country, where the international focus on Isis has allowed it to gain territory and support largely untroubled by foreign parties in the civil war.
Al-Zawahiri made a clear pitch to Isis defectors in his speech, urging “ones who seek the truth” to join al-Qaeda instead.
Renad Mansour, a fellow from the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, said al-Qaeda is looking to capitalise on Isis’s losses in key strongholds including Mosul and Raqqa province.
“When Isis became so successful, many questioned the relevance and legitimacy of al-Qaeda, especially after the death of Osama bin Laden,” he told The Independent.
“Al-Zawahiri’s attack coming now shows that al-Qaeda feels a bit more confident, feels that Isis is beginning to lose.”