Understanding Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and the Phenomenon of the Islamic Caliphate State

(MEMRI) Y. Carmon, Y. Yehoshua, and A. Leone - The successive atrocities committed by the Islamic State create the erroneous impression that it is simply a more vicious version of al-Qaeda. Yet based on the organization's official writings and speeches by its leaders, IS places priority not on global terrorism, but rather on establishing and consolidating a state, and hence it defers the clash with the West to a much later stage. Whereas in al-Qaeda, emphasis is on worldwide jihad prior to the declaration of the Islamic caliphate, IS doctrine is characterized by prioritizing the establishment and consolidation of the caliphate state as the overriding objective. It is equally clear that, once the near and immediate enemy has been defeated, the West's turn will arrive. Moreover, if allowed to implement its strategy of stages, upon reaching the stage of war against the West, the Islamic state it is likely to command a wide range of modern military assets, possibly including planes, guided missiles, and chemical weapons. Therefore, postponing the clash with the West serves IS interests rather than the West's.

2014-09-17 00:00:00

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