Al-Qaeda Addresses Message to Family of U.S. Hostage Warren Weinstein

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Al-Qaeda (AQ) addressed a message to the family of Warren Weinstein—a former American USAID worker kidnapped in Lahore, Pakistan in August 2011—telling them that the U.S. government has not made any "serious efforts" for his release and that it wants him to die in their possession.

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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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Perfect Storm: The Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War

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Beyond any doubt, the Syrian civil war has reversed Core al-Qaeda’s waning fortunes and re-energized its one-time Iraqi spear-carrier, the Islamic State—formerly the Islamic State of Iraq al-Sham (ISIS), Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), and before that, al-Qaeda in Iraq (aQI).

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The "Comical Caliphate"

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Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) spokesman Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani’s 34-minute speech titled “This is the Promise of Allah”—which declares ISIS as Caliphate under the name “Islamic State,” along with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s status as the Caliph—has reignited the recently quieted conflict between ISIS, al-Qaeda (AQ), and AQ’s Syrian branch, al-Nusra Front.

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