Islamist terror group Al-Qaeda has been left unable to function and on the brink of collapse by the meteoric rise of the Islamic State, claims a new report.
The clear sense of purpose, establishment of a Caliphate and accessible propaganda material has given the Islamic State (ISIS) a marketing edge over Al-Qaeda in the battle for all-important donations from sympathisers around the globe that allow operations to continue. The report, published in The Guardian newspaper claims there has been a breakdown of discipline and loyalty within the organisation, and Al-Qaeda has even been reduced to selling off equipment like computers and cars to just make ends meet.
One expert said:
“…donations, which once came in waves of “hundreds of thousands”, have dried up as donors directed their money to Isis, or else refused to fund further bloodletting between the two groups. Another former al-Qaida member, Aimen Dean – who defected to become a spy for British intelligence – told the Guardian that one of his sources in Pakistan’s tribal areas said the finances of al-Qaida central in Waziristan were so desperate that it was reduced at one point last year to selling its laptops and cars to buy food and pay rent.”
Although groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda also bring in funding through illegal activity, smuggling, and theft, donations and fresh recruits are crucial and are dependent on high public profile, which encourages terror groups to commit high-profile attacks, such as 9/11, to solicit endowments. Now, ISIS has captured the narrative, publishing glossy Dabiq magazine and releasing HD recruiting films showing military victories and executions.
ISIS has become so influential, it has almost succeeded in doing what Western intelligence agencies failed to do over decades – closing down Al-Qaeda itself. As ‘veteran Jihadist’ Dr Munif Samara told The Guardian: “At this moment, we do believe there is a coup d’etat under way within al-Qaeda itself,” with ISIS poised to take the helm.
Despite internal problems Al-Qaeda is still managing to inflict misery upon those unfortunate enough to be caught within areas it controls, however. The Associated Press reports today Al-Qaeda murdered 20 minority Druze sect villagers in Syria, while hundreds of others were forced to convert to Sunni Islam, or die. The local Al-Qaeda cadet branch has also desecrated shrines and exhumed graves in a concerted effort to stamp out the culture of the persecuted minority.