In the 2012 campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly claimed, “Al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat.”
But it was a lie.
Al-Qaeda was not on the path to defeat. In fact, several top Bin Laden lieutenants had relocated to the Middle East and Syria in the last few years.
In April 2014, Al-Qaeda fighters in Syria split off into two groups.
The global jihad movement has split in two. Members of al-Qaeda will now have to choose between two different emirs. The so-called “Khorasan pledge” was the final nail in the coffin of the reconciliation between al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The rift no longer pertains to Syria only, but has spread to the other arenas of global jihad.
Nine al-Qaeda emirs from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Iran declared their allegiance to the new emir of the faithful, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – the head of ISIS – in what is being termed as the “Khorasan pledge.” A few days later, ISIS spokesperson Mohammed al-Adnani declared that “al-Qaeda deviated from the rightful course,” indicating that “it is not a dispute about who to kill or who to give your allegiance. It is a question of religious practices being distorted and an approach veering off the right path.”
This is a turning point in the clash – currently limited to the Syrian arena – between Baghdadi and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
This was one of the first reports on the “Khorasan pledge” in the media.