ISIS had originated as part of Al-Qaeda but later splintered as Al-Qaeda distanced itself from the group for being too radical (not an easy feat, I imagine). Both groups want a Caliphate of their own, and neither is interested in coexistence. And now Al-Qaeda has gone from distancing itself from the rival terrorist group to waging war on them.
To quote from ABC News:
Just ahead of the fourteenth anniversary of al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks on the U.S., the leader of the terrorist group took aim in an angry speech at a mortal enemy — but not American “crusaders” this time. Rather, the object of his tirade was the leader of ISIS in a declaration of war that will “irreconcilably” divide the two terror groups in a way the U.S. may be able to exploit, experts say.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian doctor who replaced Osama bin Laden as the head of al Qaeda four years ago, in a new audio message accused ISIS top leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of “sedition” and insisted the Iraqi terrorist recluse was not the leader of all Muslims and militant jihad as “caliph” of the Islamic State, as al-Baghdadi had claimed 14 months ago in a Mosul mosque.
“It’s pretty interesting,” said former National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen. “Zawahiri until now has not been willing to openly condemn Baghdadi and ISIS. It highlights how deep the division is between al Qaeda leadership and ISIS. It suggests that the differences are irreconcilable.”
Regardless of how this actually ends up playing out, we can hope both sides are successful.