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REVEALED: Al Qaeda's dangerous plan to match ISIS

July 04, 2014 17:07 IST

REVEALED: Al Qaeda's dangerous plan to match ISIS

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Vicky Nanjappa

Threatened by the growing clout of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the Al Qaeda is desperate for a comeback. Explosives that airport scanners can't detect are the latest security threat

The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has the Al Qaeda worried. The terror outfit, which was considered the most dreaded under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, is for the first time since its emergence almost 20 years ago is facing a threat from a rival jihadist organisation. Not only is the ISIS more powerful in terms of combat, but also in terms of resources and funds.  

The Al Qaeda had $200 million in terror funds and the Taliban $70 million during their peak years. The ISIS stole $450 million after the raid in Mosul. Apart from this, its operatives have taken control of oil fields, an estimated worth of which is around $4 billion.        

According to security experts, in terms of wealth and fighting skills the Al Qaeda is no match at least today for the ISIS. The Al Qaeda will look to make a come back and it is showing signs of desperation. United States intelligence alerts show attempts by the terror group to bomb airports.     

A US-based think tank said, “The Al Qaeda will be looking for a spectacular attack on the lines of 9/11 to regain what it has lost to the ISIS.  Moreover, the coffers of the Al Qaeda are drying up and the free flow of funds from Saudi Arabia has stopped following Osama’s death.”

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Image: Iraqi security forces fire an artillery gun during clashes with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in Jurf al-Sakhar
Photographs: Reuters

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Al Qaeda to strike with explosives that airport scanners can't detect

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According to intelligence reports corroborated from across the world, the Al Qaeda has on its radar major airports in the United Kingdom. It is likely to use a new bomb devised by one of the world’s best bomb-makers -- Ibrahim Al-Isiri -- for the attack. This explosive can beat metal detectors and sniffer dogs. Al-Isiri is now a part of the ISIS, but intelligence sources said, that he has shared the formula with five members of the Al Qaeda.     

Attacking airports in the UK is significant to the Al Qaeda since 500 of its members of British-origin detracted to the ISIS. This is a clear sign of jihadis losing faith in the leadership of Ayman Al-Zawahiri and drawing inspiration from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The Al Qaeda feels that by launching a massive attack it could repose confidence in its fighters and ensure that they either stay back or return to their fold, intelligence sources said.

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Image: Passengers head towards security control at Heathrow airport in London. Britain has stepped up security at airports after US officials said they were concerned that Al Qaeda operatives were developing bombs that could be smuggled onto planes.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

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'Taliban and ISIS are one'

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Militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan have been maintaining a low profile. However, the Al Qaeda now sees the situation slipping out of its hand. The latest statement by the Tehrik-e-Taliban has sent worrying signals. The TTP has said, "Our stance on the ISIS is abundantly clear. We support those mujahideen who fight for the sake of the survival of the caliphate. We do not support groups fighting with the support of the intelligence services, even if they are from our country.”

“We would like to remind the Muslim nation that the mujahideen from Pakistan to Iraq are united, and there are no differences between them, and the names like Tehrik-e-Taliban or ISIS are nothing but a strategy of war and there is no a difference in belief. We are one.”

Indian Intelligence Bureau officials pointed out that Taliban’s message is a sign of things to come. "There are many small groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan which have been trying to fight against the Inter-Services Intelligence. They believe the spy agency is a stooge of the Americans. If these groups unite, then there is a lot of trouble ahead.” 


Image: An ISIS fighter holds an flag and a weapon on a street in Mosul, Iraq
Photographs: Reuters

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