Islamic State is illegitimate, according to a statement released by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in a new 26-minute video that was shared via Twitter.
As reported by The Washington Post, the statement was read in Arabic by Khalid Batarfi, an AQAP official, with English subtitles. He dismissively referred to IS as the “Baghdadi’s’ group”, a reference to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
This is the second time that AQAP and AQIM – al-Qaeda’s affiliates in Yemen and North Africa, respectively – have released a joint statement, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which described the tone of the message as “scathing”.
According to The Washington Post, the new statement appears intended to rebuke the Islamic State for a recent speech by its spokesman Abu Muhammad al’Adnani, who had warned that Sunni Muslims who fought against the Islamic State needed to pledge allegiance to the group or face death. In their statement, AQAP and AQIM accused the Islamic State of “deviation and misguidance” for aiming their fight against fellow Muslims when they should be fighting Jews and Christians.
“The manhaj [method] of destruction, sowing and stirring dissension and corruptions, confusing efforts, making takfir [branding as an infidel] upon those who disagree with them, then this is a manhaj of a feeble and failure [person] who has no perfection except ruin,” Batarfi says in the video.
Bartafi also says any pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State was null anyway, because the caliphate declared by Baghdadi was formed through force and violence rather than consultation and mutual consent.
The new video highlights the disagreement between the two groups, which were once linked. In February 2014, however, al-Qaeda formally dissociated itself with the Islamic State.