Walid Phares: ISIS, al-Qaida Competing for Dominance

Thursday, 28 Aug 2014 08:57 PM

By Greg Richter

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An al-Qaida-produced magazine urging lone wolf terrorists to strike American targets including Times Square and Las Vegas casinos is part of a competition for dominance among terror groups, says Middle East expert Walid Phares.

"There is a competition between al-Qaida and ISIS," Phares said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren." "On the ground, ISIS is winning in Syria and Iraq. But still, al-Qaida has cells around the world, including in the United States."

The magazine, written in English, is al-Qaida's "flag," Phares said.

They are trying to tell potential recruits they don't have to go to the Middle East and join the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), he said. They can stay home and work with al-Qaida.

The Islamic State has the advantage of controlling land and money, Phares said.

The land it controls in eastern Syria and northern Iraq is "a real state," he said. "This is a real caliphate. This is a dream of bin Laden and al-Qaida actually happening on the ground."

To top that, al-Qaida wants to strike inside the United States and bring down the economy and other infrastructure.

"Even jihadists have a power grab among themselves," he said.

Only when they have shown they are equal will the two groups come together, Phares said.


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