Tags: Al-Qaida | Exclusive Interviews | Iraq | Iraq in Crisis | MidPoint | Colin Clarke | ISIS

Security Expert Clarke: ISIS More Violent Than Core al-Qaida

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 05:29 PM

By Courtney Coren

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorist group that is behind the attacks in Iraq is more violent than the core al-Qaida group formerly lead by Osama bin Laden, said Colin Clarke, security expert and political scientist at the RAND Corp.

"Core al-Qaida is traditionally the group formerly headed by Osama bin Laden, currently headed by Ayman al-Zawahiri based in the border area along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border, more likely situated in Pakistan proper," Clarke said on "MidPoint" on Newsmax TV on Friday.

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"ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is this group that's been charging throughout Iraq, seizing territories, seizing large weapons depots, and led by Baghdadi, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," he said.

"This group is seemingly more violent than core al-Qaida," Clarke said, adding that ISIS seems to be engaged in "violence for the sake of violence."

"It's a highly sectarian group that's been targeting Shiites throughout the country," he said.

Clarke also explained that the violence is really "more of a traditional insurgency, or at least it's growing into more of a traditional insurgency than core al-Qaida, which is more of a terrorist group."

The security expert contends that the violence "is a very deliberate part of the ISIS strategy."

"Sometimes the most brutal group is the most successful," Clarke said. "Clearly, this is winning the group favor in gaining recruits."

He contends that ISIS's success is a combination of being better prepared than the Iraqi forces and taking advantage of the country in a weakened state.

"This isn't some kind of group that sprung up overnight, this is a group that's been in existence, that's clearly been developing its strategy and planning this offensive for months, if not years," Clarke said.

And it doesn't help that the Iraqi security forces "haven't been able to stem the flow of these militants south toward Baghdad."


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