Mary Habeck is a Senior Fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Mary was also appointed to the Council on the Humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities by President Bush and served as Special Advisor for Strategic Planning on the National Security Coun...cil staff. Dr. Habeck’s has authored several articles and books on foreign policy, including Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror and its forthcoming sequel, Attacking America: Al-Qa’ida’s Grand Strategy. You can follow Dr. Habeck on Twitter @MHabeck. More

Is al-Qaeda Finally Responding to the Caliphate?

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As I noted in a post last week, al-Qaeda’s failure to respond to the declaration of the Caliphate by the Islamic State (IS)—formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS)—has been rather puzzling.  Given the seriousness of the dispute between the two organizations and the challenge that the new state poses to al-Qaeda’s dominance of the global jihad, it would seem incumbent upon the more established group to answer the declaration in some convincing way. This week, at long last, al-Qaeda has issued a short newsletter that contains at least the beginning of a response to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s announcement.It also allows us to see that al-Qaeda might have been setting up this response over the past few weeks.

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Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State Caliphate

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Since the declaration of the Caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS)—now named the Islamic State (IS)—many jihadist groups have taken a position either for or against the new entity. Online and through public statements, there has also been a great deal of debate among influential members of the jihadist community over the entire issue. One organization has, however, been noticeable for its absence in the debate: al-Qaeda’s (AQ) high command.

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10610 Hits

ISIS Declares the Caliphate: An Analysis

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The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) has declared a Caliphate in the territory it claims to control.  The leader of the group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has taken the title “Caliph Ibrahim” and, henceforth, ISIS will be known simply as the “Islamic State.” This is a momentous occasion for the jihadi-salafist movement, since the creation of a Caliphate is one of the stated goals of extremist groups around the Muslim-majority world.

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Assessing the ISIS - al-Qaeda Split: The Origins of the Dispute

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In my first post on the quarrel between al-Qaeda and ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham), I laid out the depth of the problem facing al-Qaeda. In this post, I’ll take a brief look back at the origins and root causes of the disagreement between the two groups as well as the appeals that are being made by ISIS and al-Qaeda in their attempts to convince other jihadist groups to support them. 

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Understanding the Situation in Iraq

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Recent advances in Iraq by the al-Qaeda clone known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) have raised fears that the entire country could fall to extremists.  Although the collapse of security throughout much of Iraq seems sudden, it did not spring from a void, but rather is the result of a return of sectarianism to Iraq and of the steady growth of ISIS over the past two and a half years. 

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12825 Hits