It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(Reuters) - An offshoot of al Qaeda which has seized territory in Iraq and Syria has declared itself an Islamic "caliphate" and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance, a statement posted on Islamist websites and Twitter said on Sunday.
The move poses a direct challenge to the central leadership of al Qaeda, which has disowned it, and to conservative Gulf Arab rulers who already view the group as a security threat.
The group, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and also known as ISIS, has renamed itself "Islamic State" and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as "Caliph" - the head of the state, the statement said.
"Accordingly, the "Iraq and Sham" (Levant) in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration," he said.
Gulf Arab states such as Saudi Arabia are likely to be alarmed by the open declaration of a caliphate that challenges their power and the dynastic system on which it rests. Saudi Arabia fought al Qaeda militants for several years, finally crushing their campaign in 2006.
"Gulf rulers will view the statement as evidence that the organization poses a grave external threat to their stability," said Kristian Ulrichsen, Gulf expert at the U.S-based Baker Institute.
originally posted by: Wrabbit2000
a reply to: Expat888
Israel being quiet isn't a good thing, in my view. People with true strength are least threatening when they are loud and sassy. That's how they get out the frustration because they know they have power to do far far more. When powerful people go quiet? They're either unconcerned...or looked well past the tantrum stage to actually doing something about it.
Much of the appeal also stems from Baghdadi himself — the ISIL leader is touted as a battlefield commander and tactician, a crucial distinction compared with Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.
“Baghdadi has done an amazing amount — he has captured cities, he has mobilized huge amounts of people, he is killing ruthlessly throughout Iraq and Syria,” said Richard Barrett, a former counter-terrorism chief at MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence service.
“If you were a guy who wanted action, you would go with Baghdadi,” Barrett told AFP.
At the time Baghdadi took over what was then known as the Islamic State of Iraq, or ISI, in May 2010, his group appeared to be on the ropes, after the “surge” of US forces combined with the shifting allegiances of Sunni tribesmen to deal him a blow.
But the group has bounced back, expanding into Syria in 2013.
Baghdadi sought to merge with Al-Nusra, which rejected the deal, and the two groups have operated separately since.
originally posted by: Hanslune
He would have done better by declaring himself the Mahdi. I wonder if Iran will declare they are in communication with the 12th Imaum?