Feisal Omar / Reuters

Terrorist Tug-of-War

ISIS and al Qaeda Struggle for al Shabab's Soul

Without a doubt, the self-proclaimed Islamic State (also known as ISIS) is currently the most preeminent global jihadist group in the world. Yet al Qaeda is still fighting for influence, in both the Middle East and Africa. In recent months, the showdown between the two groups has been most apparent in East Africa, where ISIS has attempted, but thus far failed, to convince the al Qaeda–linked Somali militia al Shabab to switch allegiances. Unlike in the west of the continent, where Boko Haram has declared allegiance to the Syrian jihadist group, in al Shabab territory al Qaeda still holds sway. …

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