The Islamic State announced the death of its emir, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, and has chosen a new leader, an individual identified only as Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Quraishi.
AQAP and AQIM have issued a joint statement encouraging the jihadists in Syria to unite in the face of the American-led opposition. However, the statement should not be read as an indication that they are breaking ranks from al Qaeda. The two groups also offer their condolences for the Ahrar al Sham leaders who were killed earlier this month.
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Al Qaeda has posted a video featuring Osama bin Laden from mid-2001. Al Qaeda is attempting to undermine the legitimacy of the Islamic State’s announced caliphate by highlighting bin Laden’s testimony. Bin Laden spoke of the “pillars” necessary for building a “strong Islamic state.”
The Al Nusrah Front has released a statement saying that it has not “yet” announced the creation of an Islamic emirate and it will only do so after other jihadist groups agree with the decision.
An alleged audio recording featuring Al Nusrah Front emir Abu Muhammad al Julani was leaked online. Julani discusses the creation of an Islamic emirate, or state, in Syria as a counterweight to the Islamic State and other actors.
The Taliban’s statement avoids any explicit mention of the Islamic State or its announced caliphate, even though the Islamic State has claimed that all Muslims must pledge allegiance to its leader.
Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi fears that the Islamic State will use its recent land grab and claim of ruling over a caliphate to go after its jihadist rivals.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has issued a statement praising the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham’s (ISIS) gains in Iraq and calling for reconciliation between jihadist groups in Syria. The statement was authored prior to the ISIS declaring that it ruled over a caliphate and rebranding itself the “Islamic State.”
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The Islamic State’s jihadist rivals in Syria have rejected its claim to have established a Caliphate. Leading ideologues in the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, have rejected the Islamic State’s announcement as well.
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The Islamic State named Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as its caliph. Baghdadi is now to be referred as “khalifah Ibrahim.”
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Reports indicate that Iraqi forces have withdrawn from much of the city after heavy fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham and allied Baathists.
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