- On Sunday, the Islamic State (IS) released a provocative poster placing a bounty on the head of Al Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
- The Islamic State (IS) announced on Saturday 22nd August they wanted Mokhtar Belmokhtar, Al Qaeda leader in Egypt dead.
- Mokhtar leads Al Murabitoon, an al Qaeda group that operates in North and West Africa
- Enmity between two terrorist groups varying on their ideological principals widens by the day as each struggle to kill each other’s high ranking leaders.
Al Qaeda affiliates fighting in Libya have proven impossible to the Islamic State fighters also in the same country. Primarily is the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in Derna, Libya. MSC has proven a tough adversary and has thwarted ISIS’s attempts to take the city.
MSC is an al-Qaeda affiliate that is currently fighting ISIS for control of Derna.
In June, the Islamic State forces killed two veteran jihadists in Derna. The two killings spiked up venom between the two terrorist groups. After the deaths, MSC quickly routed the Islamic State’s branch from its strongholds in the city, pushing most of the fighting to Derna’s suburbs.
In an effort to strike back, the Islamic State has made a list of people it wants dead including a number of Al Qaeda adherents. Among them, are Al Qaeda in Egypt leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar and overall Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri.
Zawahiri took over after the 2011 assassination of Osama Bin Laden by US Special Forces.
Following a power struggle between Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS officially broke off from al-Qaeda in February 2014. Al Qaeda on its part decided to have nothing to do with the deviant brother.
Baghdadi proceeded to declare a caliphate in ISIS-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq, naming himself Caliph. Al-Qaeda was angered by the move and refused to recognize Baghdadi as Caliph.
Since then, the two groups have been locked in a bloody war, particularly in Syria, with each referring to the other as ‘apostates,’ or deviants to the Islam religion.
IS recent releases of their ‘Wanted Dead’ list is provocative of Al Qaeda. Intelligence analysis foresees a possibility in which the two will be locked to severe disagreement. Acknowledging their grim differences, Al Qaeda leader said that the Islamic State and Al Qaeda are now fighting each other unlike before when their common enemy was the United States.