Author(s): Aaron Y Zelin
Since the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) shot into the news after its take- over of Mosul, many have been confused over how to describe the group in relation to al- Qaeda, the global jihadist organization best known for its audacious terror attacks against the West from the late 1990s through the mid-2000s. Rela- tions between ISIS—and its prior incarnations, to be discussed—and al-Qaeda have been fraught with distrust, open competition, and outright hostility that have grown over time. The two groups are now in an open war for supremacy of the global jihadist movement. ISIS holds an advantage, but the battle is not over yet.