A terror group too brutal for al Qaeda?
February 4th, 2014
06:38 PM ET

A terror group too brutal for al Qaeda?

By Peter Bergen

Editor's note: Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a director at the New America Foundation and the author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden - From 9/11 to Abbottabad."

When even al Qaeda publicly rejects you because you are too brutal, it's likely a reasonable indicator that you are.

A long simmering dispute between "al Qaeda Central," headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the most brutal al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, generally known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, surfaced publicly on Monday.

On jihadist websites, al Qaeda's central leadership posted a notice saying ISIS "is not a branch of the al Qaeda group."

It is the first time in its quarter century history that al Qaeda has officially rejected one of its affiliates.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Isobel

    It is the first time they've publicly rejected but it seemed that what I refer to as 'AQ in Iraq in Syria', which is effectively what they have been, had inherited the mantle of al Zarqawi, whose activities were disapproved of by both Osama bin Laden and A al Zawahiri, and they had lost operative control of him. Al Nusra have been the primary fighting force of the opposition in Syria for the past two years, with the FSA allied with them. This group seemed to spring up and try to be dominant plus were extremely brutal to civilians – al Zawahiri is already on record as having disapproved of that ands tated they should stop attacking civilians and only attack armed fighters. A different tactic from A Q attacks on the West but Syria is an Arab country, and A Q were known to disapprove of al Zarqawi's antics in Iraq for similar reasons. The AQ in Iraq behaviour lost al Qaeda a lot of loyal supporters as well.

    February 6, 2014 at 9:00 am | Reply

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