World View: Al-Qaeda and ISIS Struggle for Global Jihadi Terrorist Leadership

World View: Al-Qaeda and ISIS Struggle for Global Jihadi Terrorist Leadership

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Al-Qaeda and ISIS struggle for global jihadi terrorist leadership
  • Car bomb explodes in Mogadishu, Somalia as China’s embassy reopens
  • Large Mideast stock market bubbles appear to be crashing

Al-Qaeda and ISIS struggle for global jihadi terrorist leadership

ISIS appears to be outshining the ancient leadership at al-Qaeda (Al-Arabiya)
ISIS appears to be outshining the ancient leadership at al-Qaeda (Al-Arabiya)

With the dramatic rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS orISIS or ISIL) in the past year, a generational competition is growingbetween ISIS, led by the youthful Abu Omar al-Baghdadi andheadquartered in Syria, versus al-Qaeda, led by Ayman al-Zawahiri andother old geezers on the Afghanistan – Pakistan border:

  • Yemen: Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is headquartered in Yemen, and is the principal al-Qaeda affiliate still loyal to core al-Qaeda. AQAP is the key interlocutor between core al-Qaeda on the one hand and al-Shabaab in Somalia, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in North Africa, and Jabhat al-Nusra (Islamic Front) in Syria on the other hand. If AQAP were to switch sides, then those groups will go along, and then there would be nothing left of al-Qaeda except few veteran envoys spread around the globe.
  • North Africa: Fighters from Tunisia and Libya were key supporters of Al-Qaeda in Iraq during the Iraq war in the 2003-2008 time frame, and many young jihadists in those countries are pledging allegiance to ISIS now. However, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) remains loyal to al-Qaeda, and has encouraged AQAP-ISIS unity.
  • Levant & Arabian Peninsula: This region remains the battleground for jihadi hearts and minds. ISIS captures the majority of foreign fighters into Syria but Jabhat al-Nusra remains an important force in the fight against Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad. For jihadists in the region, the main decision has now become: “Is it more important to fight al-Assad, or to fight the U.S.-led coalition?” Donor money flows from wealthy Saudis have been the traditional lifeline of al-Qaeda, but it’s likely they are now eclipsed by money flows to ISIS.
  • South Asia: Al-Qaeda has been protected for years by the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but ISIS is eroding that support.
  • Southeast Asia: Jihadis in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines had been loosely tied to al-Qaeda, but they’ve been dormant for years. But now ISIS has inspired new high levels of violence. Southeast Asia is decidedly pro-ISIS.
  • North America, Europe, Australia: There have been small numbers of recruits to al-Qaeda over the last decade, but now they’re flowing in large numbers to Syria to join ISIS or, in some cases, Jabhat al-Nusra.

The trend appears to be that ISIS is overtaking al-Qaeda, but whetherthat will continue is not certain. ISIS currently has a base of poweronly in Syria and Iraq, and not elsewhere. Just to take one possiblescenario, the death of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi could change everything,and cause ISIS and al-Qaeda to merge. Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and Al Arabiya (June 2014)

Car bomb explodes in Mogadishu, Somalia as China’s embassy reopens

China’s embassy in Somalia officially reopened Sunday in Somalia’scapital city Mogadishu, on the same day that a car bomb explodedoutside a popular Mogadishu cafe, killing 11 people. The bomb wasbelieved to have been detonated by remote control, and the terroristgroup al-Shabaab is believed to be the perpetrators.

On Saturday, Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud saidthat al-Shabaab terrorism was coming to an end, and that hisgovernment will defeat the group “as a military force” beforethe end of the year. He said that its fighters are on therun from government forces and African Union forces.

Mohamoud is encouraging China to invest further in Somalia:

China and Somalia had a very long relationship and avery historical and ancient one. And in modern times Somalia andChina are friendly countries.

Today Somalia is a place that can be invested. There is a lot ofopportunities. This is a very rich country in terms of maritimeresources, in terms of agricultural resources, in terms oflivestock, and in terms of very vibrant people who areentrepreneurs and business-minded.

We will give priority to those who pioneer to invest now inSomalia than those who come after five years from now. Those firstcomers are the real partners for us.

Xinhua/Daily Times (Pakistan) and RBC Raxanreeb (Somalia) and CTV (Canada)

Large Mideast stock market bubbles appear to be crashing

Shares in the Dubai (United Arab Emirates or UAE) stock market plunged6.5% on Sunday, while Saudi Arabia’s shares also fell by 6.5%.Qatar’s stock index fell 3%. Some Mideast stock markets have been inenormous bubbles this year, with Dubai up 47% year-to-date and Egyptup 41%, so it was only a matter of time before these bubbles burst.The only question was the timing and the triggering event.U.S. stocks had a “brutal” selloff on Friday of 1.2%. As of thiswriting at early morning Asian time, stocks in Japan, Australia andSouth Korea have fall 0.5-0.8% in early morning trading.

Generational Dynamics predicts that we’re headed for a globalfinancial panic and selloff. It has to happen sooner or later.

Americans today are very prone to panic, as shown by the widespreadnear-panic over the two cases of Ebola in Texas. This kind of panicis typical of moods during a generational Crisis era, and it’s thismood that leads to new generational financial crises and generationalcrisis wars. This may or may not be the time that the stock marketcontinues to fall. Bloomberg and Reuters and Zero Hedge

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Al-Qaeda, Afghanistan, Pakistan,Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL,Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, Ayman al-Zawahiri,Al-Qaeda on the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, Tunisia, Libya,Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, AQAP, Yemen, Somalia,China, Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, African Union,United Arab Emirates, UAE, Dubai, Egypt, Saudi Arabia,Japan, Australia
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