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Al Qaeda Recording Attacks ISIS, Calling for Gentler Caliphate

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Muhammad bin Mahmoud Rabie al Bahtiyti, a.k.a. Abu Dujana al Basha, a senior al Qaeda official, on Friday released an audio attack against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the SITE Intelligence Group reports.

Back in February, the al Qaeda’s general command denounced ISIS as being too extreme.

The Al Qaeda senior leader is seeking to undermine the ISIS ideological legitimacy, comparing its goals to those of al Qaeda. He says al Qaeda is dedicated to establishing the Shariah.

Al Basha explains: “We call to restore the rightly-guided Caliphate on the prophetic method, and not on the method of deviation, lying, breaking promises, and abrogating allegiances – a caliphate that stands with justice, consultation, and coming together, and not with oppression, infidel-branding the Muslims, killing the monotheists, and dispersing the rank of the mujahedin.”

Al Basha does not mention ISIS by any of its popular names, but his description of the al Qaeda style proposed caliphate is intended to undermine the newcomers’ vision.

According to SITE, Al Basha’s note regarding “abrogating allegiances” is a reference to the oath of allegiance Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the Caliph of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, swore to Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri, only to break it later.

Al Qaeda jihadists resent the ISIS caliphate idea, saying it was imposed on local Muslims without their consent, and that’s a central theme in a Basha’s speech.

Al Qaeda’s doctrine says the caliphate can come back only after universally revered jihadists approved it. Al Baghdadi has been imposing the caliphate in Iraq and Syria against the will of competing jihadist groups, including al Qaeda affiliates.

Al Basha also condems the ISIS extremism in his speech, portraying his own al Qaeda as a more mainstream jihadist organization.

Al Basha addresses the jihadists’ rank and file, warning them against joining the Islamic State and even encouraging the self proclaimed caliph Baghdadi’s people to defect. In his opinion, the rebellion against President Assad in Syria has been failing because of the infighting that resulted from the appearance of ISIS on the scene.

“I address my speech and my advice to my brothers on the frontlines in Syria among those who have been deceived by slogans and titles, to use your heads and have insight, and to weigh the matters fairly, ” al Basha says in the recording. “Rescue the ship of jihad, and reach it before it deviates from its course and settles on the path of the people of desires. Strive to turn off the sedition and restore cohesion among the mujahedin.”

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  1. Pingback: The Call of the Caliphate | Journal of Diplomacy

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