Yemen’s branch of al-Qaida has on Friday denounced the Islamic State group for declaring a caliphate on the territory it seized in Iraq and Syria and for aggressively seeking to expand its area of influence. Read more from AP:
The al-Qaida Yemeni offshoot’s purported spiritual guide, Sheikh Harith al-Nadhari, said such expansionist intentions are “driving a wedge” among jihadi groups. He was referring to Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s recent call for followers to “explode volcanos of jihad everywhere.”
Al-Nadhari said the IS “forced the nation, all the nation, to pledge allegiance” in absence of “consultation” with other Jihadi leaders. His message was posted on one of Yemeni Al-Qaida’s official Twitter pages.
“They revoked the legitimacy of all the Islamic groups across the Islamic world …. and drove a wedge among Mujahedeen ranks by collecting allegiances from within the Jihadi groups,” he said. “They announced the expansion of their caliphate in a number of countries in which they have no mandate.”
The Islamic State extremists initially fought to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. But other groups, including al-Qaida central command, disavowed them. A summer IS blitz captured nearly a third of Syria and Iraq.