Al Qaeda group in Yemen urges all jihadists to support the Islamic State

The Islamic State (IS) has been disowned by Al-Qaeda for not following orders. The Jabhat al-Nusra or Nusra Front is now recognized as the official representative of Al Qaeda in Syria.

Al-Qaeda disowned the Islamic State back in February of this year. IS was then known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) and earlier as Al Qaeda in Iraq. Now a branch of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula(AQAP) has issued a statement urging all jihadists to support the Islamic State against the United States. The call for solidarity is significant since the leader of AQAP is thought to have been appointed the "general manager" and deputy to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. The AQAP statement said in part: "We urge all Muslims to back their brethren, with their souls, money and tongues, against the crusaders. We call on anyone who can wear down the Americans to strive to do so by military, economic or media means."
The expression of solidarity with IS from AQAP may be in part a result of US bombing raids in Syria. The US bombed the IS in Syria but it also bombed positions of what it called "Khorasan" near Aleppo. Khorasan is just a fancy name, invented by US intelligence, for a group within the Al Nusra front. Rebels of all descriptions were outraged by these bombings since the Nusra Front is cooperating with other rebel groups against the Assad regime and are key fighters in the Aleppo area. The US bombing of the Nusra Front may lead to the group also expressing solidarity with the Islamic State in time. Up to now there has been conflict between the two groups.
 If the Nusra Front decides to support the Islamic State this will make the US hopes of creating a force of moderate rebels to fight the IS and Assad a pipe dream. Indeed, the US plans are not yet even worked out with the Free Syrian Army only with exile political groups. Al-Qaeda rejects the IS declaration of a caliphate with Baghdadi as its head, however the AQAP statement insists that they are all brothers: "We urge all mujahidin to set aside their differences and inter-factional fighting and move instead against the crusade targeting all." Judging from the appended video Jabhat al-Nusra is not interested in recruiting cowboys.


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