Bad blood and breakups: The biggest splits in global terror

Published August 4th, 2016 - 14:36 GMT

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Militant factions and international terror groups are typically on the bad side of major global powers. The combined military force and intelligence apparatus of the nations waging war on terrorism and militancy provide a significant threat to groups from Colombia to Yemen, who just as soon as declaring their existence could find themselves on the wrong end of a drone strike.

But not all threats are external. Conflicting ideologies, controversial decisions, or differences in strategy can lead to internal strife that can dissolve a group or even lead to a split. A “breakup," if you will.

Sometimes breakups mean you can still be still be friends with your ex, other times the love is lost and hate is found. From the IRA’s confusing century of infighting to Nusra Front's decision to break up (but still be friends) with al-Qaeda, here's our list of militant and/or terrorist groups who've splintered, re-aligned, shuffled, dissolved, or yes - broke up with one another.

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In July of this year, Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch) and Al-Qaeda severed ties - amicably! Nusra changed its name to “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham” with Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s blessings. According to him, all militant groups need to focus on themselves first - even at the expense of their relationship with one another.
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Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10In July of this year, Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch) and Al-Qaeda severed ties - amicably! Nusra changed its name to “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham” with Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s blessings. According to him, all militant groups need to focus on themselves first - even at the expense of their relationship with one another.

(Source: afp)

Enlarge
Daesh was founded in 1999, but now looks nothing like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s original group. The biggest change? Daesh was once “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” - an informal name that showed the once strong ties between the two groups. When it declared itself a caliphate it broke protocol - and built irreconcilable differences between the two parties.
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Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10Daesh was founded in 1999, but now looks nothing like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s original group. The biggest change? Daesh was once “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” - an informal name that showed the once strong ties between the two groups. When it declared itself a caliphate it broke protocol - and built irreconcilable differences between the two parties.

(Source: afp)

Enlarge
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was originally formed in 1919 to combat the British Monarchy, and the past century has not been one of unity. Disagreements, splits, and even internal violence required Wikipedia to create the page “Genealogy of the IRA”. It’s a tangled web of offshoots - all claiming to be carrying the right message.
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Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was originally formed in 1919 to combat the British Monarchy, and the past century has not been one of unity. Disagreements, splits, and even internal violence required Wikipedia to create the page “Genealogy of the IRA”. It’s a tangled web of offshoots - all claiming to be carrying the right message.

(Source: wikipedia )

Enlarge
A militant faction based in Egypt’s Sinai, it was once a standalone group that conducted attacks against Egypt and its government, including an assassination attempt on Egypt’s interior minister. Though once identifying more with Al-Qaeda, ties were severed when it pledged allegiance to Daesh and the two parties merged into a single caliphate.
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Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10A militant faction based in Egypt’s Sinai, it was once a standalone group that conducted attacks against Egypt and its government, including an assassination attempt on Egypt’s interior minister. Though once identifying more with Al-Qaeda, ties were severed when it pledged allegiance to Daesh and the two parties merged into a single caliphate.

(Source: wikipedia )

Enlarge
The Pakistani Taliban aren't the Afghani Taliban exactly - but they were once a major threat to the Pakistani state. In 2014,  the group split after peace negotiations with Pakistan. Why? While some opposed the negotiations themselves, the largest breakaway group said it found ransoms, bombings, and kidnappings “Un-Islamic”.
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Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10The Pakistani Taliban aren't the Afghani Taliban exactly - but they were once a major threat to the Pakistani state. In 2014, the group split after peace negotiations with Pakistan. Why? While some opposed the negotiations themselves, the largest breakaway group said it found ransoms, bombings, and kidnappings “Un-Islamic”.

(Source: afp)

Enlarge
The Nigeria-based terror group who gained infamy for kidnapping several hundred school girls in 2013 swore allegiance, like many other groups, to Daesh in 2014. According to numerous counterterrorism sources, in 2016 Boko Haram has split down the middle, half of their members rejecting the leadership of Daesh in favor of autonomy.
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Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10The Nigeria-based terror group who gained infamy for kidnapping several hundred school girls in 2013 swore allegiance, like many other groups, to Daesh in 2014. According to numerous counterterrorism sources, in 2016 Boko Haram has split down the middle, half of their members rejecting the leadership of Daesh in favor of autonomy.

(Source: afp)

Enlarge
Al-Shabaab has terrorized East Africa for a number of years, and provoked the anger of West - the United States has provided military aid to Ethiopia and Somalia against al-Shabaab. The group itself formed in 2007, when al-Shabaab broke ranks with the Islamic Courts Union in favor of a guerrilla campaign against the government of Somalia.
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Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10Al-Shabaab has terrorized East Africa for a number of years, and provoked the anger of West - the United States has provided military aid to Ethiopia and Somalia against al-Shabaab. The group itself formed in 2007, when al-Shabaab broke ranks with the Islamic Courts Union in favor of a guerrilla campaign against the government of Somalia.

(Source: afp)

Enlarge
Infamous for its racial killings, assassinations, and power in American prisons, the White Supremacists of the Aryan Nation were once truly feared.  In 2005, then-leader August Kreis III reached out to al-Qaeda to make an alliance. A controversial proposal - the group shortly splintered into 3 separate groups over acceptance of non-Christians.
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Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10Infamous for its racial killings, assassinations, and power in American prisons, the White Supremacists of the Aryan Nation were once truly feared. In 2005, then-leader August Kreis III reached out to al-Qaeda to make an alliance. A controversial proposal - the group shortly splintered into 3 separate groups over acceptance of non-Christians.

(Source: Wikipedia )

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Jaish-e-Mohammad is a militant group fighting against the Indian government in occupied Kashmir. In 1997, its parent group Harkat ul-Mujahideen was designated a terrorist organization by the US for its connection to Osama Bin Laden. Jaish-e-Mohammad decided to splinter that year to circumvent the ban - and some claim to build ties with Pakistan.
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Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10Jaish-e-Mohammad is a militant group fighting against the Indian government in occupied Kashmir. In 1997, its parent group Harkat ul-Mujahideen was designated a terrorist organization by the US for its connection to Osama Bin Laden. Jaish-e-Mohammad decided to splinter that year to circumvent the ban - and some claim to build ties with Pakistan.

(Source: afp)

Enlarge
The breakdown of Palestinian liberation groups can be complicated, and the PFLP is no exception. In 1978, members of the group who wanted to focus more on fighting Israel splintered from the PFLP and rejected any peace process. Today, they are based in Damascus and fight alongside Assad’s forces in the Syrian Civil War
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Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10The breakdown of Palestinian liberation groups can be complicated, and the PFLP is no exception. In 1978, members of the group who wanted to focus more on fighting Israel splintered from the PFLP and rejected any peace process. Today, they are based in Damascus and fight alongside Assad’s forces in the Syrian Civil War

(Source: Wikipedia )

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1

In July of this year, Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch) and Al-Qaeda severed ties - amicably! Nusra changed its name to “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham” with Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s blessings. According to him, all militant groups need to focus on themselves first - even at the expense of their relationship with one another.

Image 1 of 10In July of this year, Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch) and Al-Qaeda severed ties - amicably! Nusra changed its name to “Jabhat Fateh al-Sham” with Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri’s blessings. According to him, all militant groups need to focus on themselves first - even at the expense of their relationship with one another.

(Source: afp)

2

Daesh was founded in 1999, but now looks nothing like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s original group. The biggest change? Daesh was once “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” - an informal name that showed the once strong ties between the two groups. When it declared itself a caliphate it broke protocol - and built irreconcilable differences between the two parties.

Image 2 of 10Daesh was founded in 1999, but now looks nothing like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s original group. The biggest change? Daesh was once “Al-Qaeda in Iraq” - an informal name that showed the once strong ties between the two groups. When it declared itself a caliphate it broke protocol - and built irreconcilable differences between the two parties.

(Source: afp)

3

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was originally formed in 1919 to combat the British Monarchy, and the past century has not been one of unity. Disagreements, splits, and even internal violence required Wikipedia to create the page “Genealogy of the IRA”. It’s a tangled web of offshoots - all claiming to be carrying the right message.

Image 3 of 10The Irish Republican Army (IRA) was originally formed in 1919 to combat the British Monarchy, and the past century has not been one of unity. Disagreements, splits, and even internal violence required Wikipedia to create the page “Genealogy of the IRA”. It’s a tangled web of offshoots - all claiming to be carrying the right message.

(Source: wikipedia )

4

A militant faction based in Egypt’s Sinai, it was once a standalone group that conducted attacks against Egypt and its government, including an assassination attempt on Egypt’s interior minister. Though once identifying more with Al-Qaeda, ties were severed when it pledged allegiance to Daesh and the two parties merged into a single caliphate.

Image 4 of 10A militant faction based in Egypt’s Sinai, it was once a standalone group that conducted attacks against Egypt and its government, including an assassination attempt on Egypt’s interior minister. Though once identifying more with Al-Qaeda, ties were severed when it pledged allegiance to Daesh and the two parties merged into a single caliphate.

(Source: wikipedia )

5

The Pakistani Taliban aren't the Afghani Taliban exactly - but they were once a major threat to the Pakistani state. In 2014,  the group split after peace negotiations with Pakistan. Why? While some opposed the negotiations themselves, the largest breakaway group said it found ransoms, bombings, and kidnappings “Un-Islamic”.

Image 5 of 10The Pakistani Taliban aren't the Afghani Taliban exactly - but they were once a major threat to the Pakistani state. In 2014, the group split after peace negotiations with Pakistan. Why? While some opposed the negotiations themselves, the largest breakaway group said it found ransoms, bombings, and kidnappings “Un-Islamic”.

(Source: afp)

6

The Nigeria-based terror group who gained infamy for kidnapping several hundred school girls in 2013 swore allegiance, like many other groups, to Daesh in 2014. According to numerous counterterrorism sources, in 2016 Boko Haram has split down the middle, half of their members rejecting the leadership of Daesh in favor of autonomy.

Image 6 of 10The Nigeria-based terror group who gained infamy for kidnapping several hundred school girls in 2013 swore allegiance, like many other groups, to Daesh in 2014. According to numerous counterterrorism sources, in 2016 Boko Haram has split down the middle, half of their members rejecting the leadership of Daesh in favor of autonomy.

(Source: afp)

7

Al-Shabaab has terrorized East Africa for a number of years, and provoked the anger of West - the United States has provided military aid to Ethiopia and Somalia against al-Shabaab. The group itself formed in 2007, when al-Shabaab broke ranks with the Islamic Courts Union in favor of a guerrilla campaign against the government of Somalia.

Image 7 of 10Al-Shabaab has terrorized East Africa for a number of years, and provoked the anger of West - the United States has provided military aid to Ethiopia and Somalia against al-Shabaab. The group itself formed in 2007, when al-Shabaab broke ranks with the Islamic Courts Union in favor of a guerrilla campaign against the government of Somalia.

(Source: afp)

8

Infamous for its racial killings, assassinations, and power in American prisons, the White Supremacists of the Aryan Nation were once truly feared.  In 2005, then-leader August Kreis III reached out to al-Qaeda to make an alliance. A controversial proposal - the group shortly splintered into 3 separate groups over acceptance of non-Christians.

Image 8 of 10Infamous for its racial killings, assassinations, and power in American prisons, the White Supremacists of the Aryan Nation were once truly feared. In 2005, then-leader August Kreis III reached out to al-Qaeda to make an alliance. A controversial proposal - the group shortly splintered into 3 separate groups over acceptance of non-Christians.

(Source: Wikipedia )

9

Jaish-e-Mohammad is a militant group fighting against the Indian government in occupied Kashmir. In 1997, its parent group Harkat ul-Mujahideen was designated a terrorist organization by the US for its connection to Osama Bin Laden. Jaish-e-Mohammad decided to splinter that year to circumvent the ban - and some claim to build ties with Pakistan.

Image 9 of 10Jaish-e-Mohammad is a militant group fighting against the Indian government in occupied Kashmir. In 1997, its parent group Harkat ul-Mujahideen was designated a terrorist organization by the US for its connection to Osama Bin Laden. Jaish-e-Mohammad decided to splinter that year to circumvent the ban - and some claim to build ties with Pakistan.

(Source: afp)

10

The breakdown of Palestinian liberation groups can be complicated, and the PFLP is no exception. In 1978, members of the group who wanted to focus more on fighting Israel splintered from the PFLP and rejected any peace process. Today, they are based in Damascus and fight alongside Assad’s forces in the Syrian Civil War

Image 10 of 10The breakdown of Palestinian liberation groups can be complicated, and the PFLP is no exception. In 1978, members of the group who wanted to focus more on fighting Israel splintered from the PFLP and rejected any peace process. Today, they are based in Damascus and fight alongside Assad’s forces in the Syrian Civil War

(Source: Wikipedia )

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