Terror group Al Qaeda has allegedly ‘declared war’ on fellow jihadists Islamic State, according to reports.
Osama bin Laden’s replacement, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who stepped up to take the reins four years ago following the former leader’s liquidation, has blasted ISIS in an audio message, and has accused ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of ‘sedition’.
ISIS, once described by Barack Obama as Al Qaeda’s “junior varsity squad,” has eclipsed its parent organisation in recent years – and one can only assume Al Qaeda bosses aren’t happy about this.
According to counter terrorism expert Matthew Olsen, the declaration of war will ‘irreconcilably’ divide the two factions.
In his message, released online on Wednesday, al-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 what they claim of a caliphate.”
He continued: “Everyone was surprised” by Baghdadi’s declaration anointing himself the fourth caliph in Islamic history. He has done this without consulting the Muslims.”
Mr Olsen went on to explain how he and his colleagues hope that the division between the two organisations will leave them open for exploitation.
“Fighting each other makes our job easier,” he added.