Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen is declaring its support for the Sunni extremist group that has taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria, creating the potential for a new alliance against the United States.
“We announce solidarity with our Muslim brothers in Iraq against the crusade. Their blood and injuries are ours and we will surely support them,” said a statement published by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemen Times reported Tuesday.
“We assert to the Islamic Nation [all Muslims worldwide] that we stand by the side of our Muslim brothers in Iraq against the American and Iranian conspiracy and their agents of the apostate Gulf rulers," the statement continued.
AQAP is believed to pose the most dangerous threat to the U.S. of all the al Qaeda affiliates, because it has tried to stage attacks against the United States several times.
Was this not bound to happen at some point? Both al Qaeda and ISIS share the same goal of killing Americans and waging war against the U.S. This is beyond dispute. Meanwhile, ISIS has publicly taunted the president, vowing to "raise the flag of Allah in the White House” while al Qaeda, everybody knows, masterminded the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
I suspect, also, that al Qaeda operatives aren't universally opposed to ISIS’ decision to slaughter young Christians and ethnic minorities and sell the rest of their victims into slavery. Though perhaps, for now, maybe some are:
One expert, Saeed Al-Jamhi, head of the Al-Jamhi Center for Strategic Studies, told the Yemen Times that there were ISIS gunmen training fighters in Yemen, and some AQAP members fighting in Iraq.
Al-Jamhi also said there were divisions within AQAP over whether to support ISIS, but predicted that division would fade as ISIS increases its stature.
And its stature is indeed increasing. President Obama once dismissed them as “jayvee,” but their military capabilities, coupled with their bloodthirsty tactics, makes them a serious national security threat. President Obama himself has already said explicitly that they pose a danger to the Middle East and our diplomatic and military personnel stationed there. Now, apparently, AQAP is advising ISIS on how best to avoid US airstrikes, and maximize their influence in the region.
Worse, ISIS just released a video pledging to “drown all [Americans] in blood”:
The Islamic State militant group that has seized large parts of Iraq and drawn the first American air strikes since the end of the occupation in 2011 has warned the United States it will attack Americans "in any place" if the raids hit its militants.
The video, which shows a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq and victims of snipers, featured a statement which said in English "we will drown all of you in blood".
Parting question: Two terrorist organizations have apparently joined forces to wage jihad against the United States. So what, if anything, will be the administration's response?