Is al-Qaeda rebranding itself?

It seems that al-Qaeda is suffering from an image crisis. Why would they want to be like ISIS? Is it because the constant military pressure on it has limited its ability to conduct large scale attacks? Apparently, they have been bombed back in to the Stone Age. Now their only recourse seems to be to imitate ISIS who already operates from there. The barbarism al Qaeda and ISIS are practicing keeps seeking lower and lower levels of gruesomeness. Now al-Qaeda is espousing assassinations as a tool they are willing to use.

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As Written By Sigurd Neubauer, Al Arabiya English:

Five years after al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Special Forces, the terrorist group seems to be temporarily shifting its tactics away from primarily focusing on large scale attacks.

Instead, the group is now encouraging militants to carry out lone wolf attacks against American business leaders as part of an orchestrated effort to inflict harm on the US economy.

This apparent change in tactics was recently announced in al-Qaeda’s English-language magazine “Inspire” where it argues that “assassination is an effective tool in warfare.”

While the statement clearly underscores that al-Qaeda remains committed to waging war on America, by calling for lone wolf attacks the group may have temporarily lost its ability to carry out large scale operations as those executed in London and Madrid following its signature 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Not so popular?

Al-Qaeda’s call for lone wolf attacks may also be tied to its quest for relevance as extremist groups across the North Africa and Middle East, including in Afghanistan, are increasingly pledging allegiance to ISIS and not to al-Qaeda.

Between US drone strikes targeting al-Qaeda strongholds along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and its affiliate in Yemen, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and the emergence of ISIS in Syria and Iraq over the past five years, Bin Laden now seems to be a distant figure from a different lifetime.

Within this context, it is hardly surprising that al-Qaeda seeks to make a comeback by calling on extremists to emulate ISIS’ ability to strike fear among Europeans, alluding that the next terrorist attack is imminent.

Unlike ISIS militants, whose primary focus is to establish a “caliphate” at the heart of the Arab world, al-Qaeda has since its inception sought to avenge Muslim grievances against what it sees as American imperialism.

For al-Qaeda, fighting the West is an ideological battle meant to restore Islamic grandeur to a region long-plagued ……

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