More on the Al Qaeda Name

More on the Al Qaeda Name

For those who try to keep up with the shifting nature of radical Islamist groups – groups too many in the media sometimes wrongly link to Al Qaeda –the stories earlier this week on the group formerly known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, now calling itself ISIS, are significant:

Early Monday morning the leadership of al-Qaeda disowned Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), the most effective of its two franchises fighting in Syria, in a maneuver that could alter the trajectory of the fight against President Bashar Assad. In a message posted on jihadi websites, the al-Qaeda general command stated that its former affiliate “is not a branch of the al-Qaeda group [and al-Qaeda] does not have an organizational relationship with it and is not the group responsible for their actions.”

Evidently not among those trying to keep up with the latest – the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, which today held a hearing entitled: “Al-Qaeda’s Resurgence in Iraq: A Threat to U.S. Interests.”

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Ralf Michaels
Ralf Michaels

Deborah, I am convinced you are right on this point. However, I do not think you would want to suggest that our assessment who is and is not covered as a co-belligerent should depend on disassociation statements of al Qaeda themselves. (I would speak, in analogy to corporate law, of “piercing the terrorist veil”  if that were not a pun with too rich and multiple undertones)


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