Al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, had some big news in a recently-released audio message.
He called on young Muslims to attack the United States with so-called “lone wolf” attacks–and possibly extended an invitation to work together with ISIS.
“I call on all Muslims who can harm the countries of the crusader coalition not to hesitate,” Zawahri said, referring to Western nations like the United States.
“We must now focus on moving the war to the heart of the homes and cities of the crusader West and specifically America.”
Al-Zawahiri also offered an olive branch to ISIS. While calling their “caliphate” illegitimate, he also offered to work together to further their collective mission of damaging the United States and other Western countries.
Al-Qaeda has been in a public battle with ISIS since early 2014, over their differing tactics. ISIS was once part of the Al-Qaeda network, known as “Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” but were publicly disowned by the parent group after they invaded Syria.
Jabhat al Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s existing Syrian wing, is also hostile towards ISIS.
Al-Qaeda, which had been seen as declining since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the death of one-time leader Osama bin Laden, has been somewhat resurgent recently–and it’s clear that they’re now ramping up their rhetoric towards the United States.
However, it’s also clear that Al-Qaeda remains a shadow of their former self–but, in teaming up with ISIS, that marriage could change the entire balance of power in the Middle East.