Top radical cleric denounces ISIS' caliphate
One of the top radical religious leaders who is presently on trial for terrorism in Jordan denounced the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria's so-called caliphate as "void" Tuesday, according to Agence France Presse.
Abu Qatada wrote and published a 21-page paper on various jihadist websites this week that reads, "The announcement of a caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is void and meaningless because it was not approved by jihadists in other parts of the world."
ISIS announced the establishment of a caliphate on June 29 within the territory under its control in Iraq and Syria. The so-called caliphate is led by Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, who now apparently refers to himself as Caliph Ibrahim.
"This group does not have the authority to rule all Muslims and their declaration applies to no-one but themselves," said Abu Qatada.
"Its threats to kill opponents, sidelining of other groups and violent way of fighting opponents constitute a great sin, reflecting the reality of the group. They are [also] merciless in dealing with other jihadists. How would they deal with the poor, the weak and other people?" he added.
Jordanian jihadist Issam Barqawi also denounced the caliphate earlier this month, calling on ISIS to "reform yourselves, repent and stop killing Muslims and distorting religion."
Many jihadists in Jordan prefer to align with the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and related anti-ISIS groups.
Abu Qatada is currently on trial in Jordan for plotting to attacks tourists in the Kingdom, but was recently acquitted for charges linking him to a 1999 plot to attack the American School in Amman.