Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
In the ongoing issue that the country has dealt with in the issue of terrorism, we as a country have been a force to deter from our normal lives and focus on the safety of the nation. The two Jihad organization are the most dangerous group there is in the world that can affect the way of life. In the current time knowing that this organization is out there people should do what is necessary to find out the difference between the two groups. The ongoing problem that these two organization have brought terror and hate too countries have brought the determination to find out what is the difference and like of the two organization. The examining of ISIS and AL- Qaeda could be the key finding in helping the nation break down the terrorist groups and build on the success of taking down these two groups. The outcome of any knows the organization that you have to protect your nation. These will be done by knowing all things between the groups and use it for the security of the country.
Methodology and research
ISIS and Al-Qaeda are the broad based militant Islamist organizations. The Al-Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden in 1980s. The Al-Qaeda group started their “career” as a network, which was supporting Muslim fighters against the Soviet Union (Afghan War). The members of Al-Qaeda were mostly recruited from the Islamic world. After the retreat of Soviets from Afghanistan in 1989 the Al-Qaeda organization continued opposition against the corrupted regimes and foreign presence in Islamic countries. The group had their headquarters in Afghanistan thanks to the Taliban support.
The Al-Qaeda group merged with many other militias of Islamic countries, including the Islamic groups which leaders declared the “holy war” against the U.S. and their agents. The organization got their camps for Muslim militia from all over the world, training thousands of men in paramilitary skills. Their agencies helped in destruction of U.S. embassies in Dar Es Salaam, Kenya, Nairobi; also the suicide attack against the Cole warship of U.S. in Aden was the deed of Al-Qaeda. In 2001, about twenty militants, probably, from al-Qaeda started the 9/11 attacks on U.S. The answer was get within weeks – the U.S. forces attacked Taliban and Afghanistan, where the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants were situated. As a result, thousands were killed or captured, key figures were also arrested.
The invasion of 2001 made a challenge to Afghanistan’s viability of being Al-Qaeda’s training ground and sanctuary, also compromising the communication and financial linkages of Al-Qaeda’s leaders and militants. That event not only weakened Al-Qaeda, but also prompted an evolution to the structure of this organization, helping it in growing. Not all the attacks were orchestrated from the centralized leadership, but also by autonomous local groups, which were difficult to control because of the diffusive form of militancy.
The links, connected to Al-Qaeda attacks were following the 9/11 in the next six years, including the attacks in Algeria, Israel, UK, Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Al-Qaeda’s interest. The organization increasingly used the internet as the way for communication and recruitment, also by making the video messages and propaganda broadcasts. The previous leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011, during the U.S. military forces operation, which was carried out by a small group of people, by which Bin Laden was reached in his secured compound of Abbottabad, 31 miles from Islamabad. On June 16, 2011 was announcement about the appointment of Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy, as the organization leader.
Al-Qaeda is “famous” for: Somali Civil War (1991-present), Civil War in Afghanistan (1992-1996), Al-Qaeda insurgency in Asia (Yemen, 1992-present), Civil War in Afghanistan (1996-2001), Civil War in Afghanistan (2001-present), The Maghreb insurgency (2002-present), Iraq War (2003-2011), North-West Pakistan War (2004-present), North Caucasus insurgency (2009-present), Syrian Civil War (2011-present).
The ideology of Al-Qaeda was radical Islamist movement, in which Al-Qaeda participated and developed new ideas during the Islamic revival and movement of the three last decades in XX century. The Afghan Jihad movement was against the pro-soviet government of Afghanistan (Dec. 1979 to Feb. 1989), they also developed the Salafist movement of Jihad, the most prominent example of Al-Qaeda’s activity. According to the vanguard movement of righteous Muslims, to restore the sharia law and to revert jahiliyaah world back to the Muslim world they need to establish “true” Islamic States, implementing sharia back and making Muslim world free of non-Muslim influences, like communism, socialism and nationalism. The enemies of Qutb’s Islam were “treacherous Orientalists”, “world Jewry” and others who plot some conspiracies and oppose Islam. The close friend of bin Laden, Mohhamed Jamal Khalifa once said: “Islam is different from any other religion; it’s a way of life. We [Khalifa and bin Laden] were trying to understand what islam has to say about how we eat, who we marry, how we talk. We read Sayyid Qutb. He was the one who most affected our generation”.
Qutb had the greatest influence on the mentor of bin Laden and another al-Qaeda leading member – Ayman al-Zawahiri. Uncle of Zawahiri, Mafouz Azzam, was a student of Qutb, and then became his protégé, personal lawyer, and the executor of his estate – the one of the people who saw Qutb before the execution. Zawahiri wrote in his work “Knights under the Prophet’s Banner” about his respect: "Young Ayman al-Zawahiri heard again and again from his beloved uncle Mahfouz about the purity of Qutb's character and the torment he had endured in prison".
The ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Islamic State of Iraq and Ash-Sham, or simply – the Islamic state) is also a Salafi Jihadi militant group, who proclaimed theirselves as Islamic caliphate, which controlled territory occupied by 10.000.000+ people in Syria and Iraq, and some territorial control in Nigeria and Libya. The idea of caliphate was criticized and condemned by UN, some other governments and some mainstream Muslim groups, which refused to acknowledge it. The caliphate claims about its religious, military and political authority over all Muslims around the world, the group is frequently judged by many non-Islamic and Islamic communities to be unrepresentative of Islam world.
The reasons of opposition from UN against the ISIL are the human rights abuses, war crimes, ethnic cleansings. The groups is designated as a terrorist organization by the EU, UN, UK, U.S., Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Turkey, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and even Russia. Over 65 countries are indirectly or directly engaged in war against the ISIS.
The ISIS group takes its origination from Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad 1999 that signed allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2004. The group participated in many events like: Iraq insurgency, invasion of Iraq, Syrian Civil War and more other. The ISIS is known and “famous” for its well supported web and social propaganda, which consists of beheadings of journalists, soldiers, civilians and destruction of cultural sites. The ISIS group gained notoriety after driving out the Iraq forces from the key city of Western Iraq. In Syria were conducted ground attacks against the both government forces and rebellion forces in the Syrian Civil War. Those territories were gained after an offensive of the early 2014, when a re-emergence of insurgents along with al-Qaeda militants was seen by US military commanders. Thanks to the actions of ISIS the Iraq’s territorial loss caused Iraqi government collapsed and renewed US military action in Iraq.
The actual similarities between Al-Qaeda and ISIS include the focus on the obligations to perform jihad by all Muslims. Both Al-Qaeda and ISIS concept is abandoning or abstaining from Jihad while proclaiming Muslims to be seen as hypocrisy. Both of organizations portray West and its allies as nations which are hostile to all Muslims. They both frame their ideas and ideologies with the concepts of Dar Al Harb and Dar Al Islam, which asserts the inconsistency of Islam governance and secular law.
The main difference between these groups is the need of key factor in their strategic concerns of their ultimate aim. Al-Qaeda portrays itself as a military group, like Delta-Force organization of well trained and specialized fighters, ISIS draws themselves in statebuilding and governmental things, with a goal to create and manage a Utopian state. According to the recent reports, ISIS even distributes food to the refuges of Syria, marking the World Food Programme supplies with their logo.
Even the violence and bloodlust of Al-Qaeda and ISIS are different. Al-Qadea and bin Laden used violence and portrayed it as a defensive jihad, with the goal to promote and protect the ummah, global community of Muslim from the West. Even the al-Zarqawi’s bloodlust was condemned by the leaders and members of Al-Qaedam who were concerned about the sheer brutality which can possibly alienate the key followers. ISIS uses its savage violence by hostile treatment and hostage killing to draw more attention and recruits, no matter how it disgusts the other countries. As George Packer wrote: “The point isn’t to use the right level of violence to achieve limited goals. The violence is the point, and the worse the better. The Islamic State doesn’t leave thousands of corpses in its wake as a means to an end. Slaughter is its goal—slaughter in the name of higher purification. Mass executions are proof of the Islamic State’s profound commitment to its vision.” This means that in case of Al-Qaeda under the Bin Laden control, reports of killing Muslims, brutal violence and poor treatment to members might proven and idealized the myth of defensive movement. While ISIS presented itself as a cult of mass death, which measures have lesser appeal, showing the ISIS’s inability to meet the standard ideas of leadership and governance, showing its inhospitality of their caliphate to people.
The others differences are: the structure of ISIS and Al-Qaeda is different – ISIS fight like a conventional army. ISSI is way more brutal then Al-Qaeda, and thanks to the extreme violence and brutality they attract lots of attention. As it was said earlier, ISIS is more popular among young people, because of the recruitment boom to Syria. ISIS hasn’t attack the U.S., while Al Qaeda attacked U.S. many times. The Al Qaeda funding core is based on donations and donor funding, while ISIS relies on selling oil on black market. As everyone can see, the terroristic organization have a lot of differences, and that’s why they have to be treated by some different ways.
The rise of two terrorist groups caused a great number of issues, and only the understanding about these two organizations different goals plays a big role of knowing the groups at all. At all, even with so much in common, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State fight against each other for the power within the movement of jihadists. These organizations differ fundamentally in strategies and tactics, differ fundamentality on their main enemies and social issues to emphasize.
As the example of Civil Jihad War can work the event, took place on 20th of June, 2015. The Fox News released the news with the headline “Al Qaeda points finger at ISIS after US drone strikes take out key operatives”. According to some source of the Fox News, the key leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were killed in recent weeks during the well timed drone strikes, which were that precise so there were suspicions that ISIS is secretly leaks information to the U.S. The spreading paranoia within AQAP fully exposed the week when the members of Al-Qaeda international organization branch who publicly executed four men in Yemen, accused of spying for U.S. The man, identified as Human Al-Hamid was hung off the bridge in crucifixion-style after being accusing of calling for the drone strike, while another “spy” was crucified along Al-Hamid. As said Veryan Khan, the editorial director of the Terrorism Research & Analysis consortium in Florida: The CIA’s success has left AQAP both guessing and pointing fingers at how the organization’s very careful leadership has been caught so off guard. In order to complete its expansion dreams, the Islamic State either needs to win over core AQAP support or kill off its opposition letting the rest fold into its ranks. The Islamic State has the most to gain, offing of important AQAP leadership.”
Al-Qaeda and ISIS are both the threat to the civilized world, causing with their actions lots of destructions and human deaths. At the moment ISIS looks much stronger then Al-Qaeda, it can also called like a “winner” in jihad race. ISIS is triumphant in Iraq and Syria, it takes Shia apostates and U.S. at local level, presenting a vision that Al Qaeda can’t match at all. The fate of ISIS is tied to Syria and Iraq, it also reversals on the battlefield. Compared to Al Qaeda, Islamic State is more successful in achieving their goals, acting themselves as a “state” which controls and governs territory. The presence of ISIS militants is the threat to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Actually, US and the allies should use the fight between Al-Qaeda and ISIS to destroy both of the organizations.
1. Atwan, Abdel Bari. 2006. The Secret History Of Al Qaeda. Berkeley: University of California Press.
2. Beck, Glenn. 2015. It Is About Islam. [Place of publication not identified]: Simon & Schuster.
3. Byman, Daniel, and Jennifer Williams. 2015. 'ISIS Vs. Al Qaeda: Jihadism’S Global Civil War'. The Brookings Institution. http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2015/02/24-byman-williams-isis-war-with-al-qaeda.
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