The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which controls a large swath of territory stretching over the borders of Iraq and Syria, has surpassed the power and influence of Al-Qaeda, the group from which it traces its origins, experts say.
ISIS, which began in 2004 under the name of the Organization of Monotheism and Jihad (JTJ) as a loyal offshoot of Osama bin Laden’s veteran Al-Qaeda, evolved over the years into its own entity, gaining critical mass during the Syrian civil war which erupted during the Arab Spring in 2011.
But splits would soon emerge.
In late 2013, Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered that ISIS be disbanded. ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, however, contested al-Zawahiri's ruling and the group continued to operate in Syria.
Then in February of this year, Al-Qaeda cut off all ties with ISIS – according to U.S. officials, due to the group’s extreme brutality and animosity toward other Islamist groups.
Although ISIS has had control over the Syrian city of Raqqa since last year and Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul since June 2014, in addition to a lot of other territory, Al-Qaeda – meaning “the base” – maintains a more global presence, with branches in countries including Somalia, Algeria and Yemen.
Earlier this week, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called ISIS “an imminent threat to every interest we have,” whether in Iraq or elsewhere, adding that the threat posed by the group could be larger than that posed by Al-Qaeda itself.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر