A report says there’s a greater threat to the Middle East than Daesh: al-Qaeda

Published September 28th, 2015 - 06:39 GMT
A report released earlier this month says Daesh's strategy of violence fueling propaganda may not be effective for a long-term vision. (AFP/File)
A report released earlier this month says Daesh's strategy of violence fueling propaganda may not be effective for a long-term vision. (AFP/File)

For the past two years, we've seen the presence of Daesh (ISIS) rise in the Middle East and strike fear of extremist attacks around the world. And in the process, one group that once created panic has been on the margins of media coverage.

A study released earlier this month shows national security analysts still have major concerns about this militant group known as al-Qaeda. In fact the strategists pegged al-Qaeda — from which Daesh was rejected when it tried to join — as being a bigger threat to global security than Daesh despite the heavy media coverage. Here's why.

The report, published by US company Valens Global, says al-Qaeda has a low-risk strategy in its warfare that "yield long-term results."

While Daesh relies heavily on large acts of violence to fuel propaganda, analysts say the extremists can sometimes sacrifice its vision for the future to continue the effective propaganda machine of the present. In other words — Daesh may have the cinematography down, but a few beheadings won't mean much a few years down the line.

Al-Qaeda, on the other hand, has a strategy for its alliances. By Syrian affiliate al-Nusra Front pegging itself as a rebel force, the group limits foreign countries' options for how to tackle its influence in the country.  

"The group has taken steps to ingratiate itself with local populations and reduce its exposure to counterrevolutionary forces," the report said. "Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, has even convinced some US allies — including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — that it should be viewed as a partner in the fight against both IS and also Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime."

Daesh may have the numbers for now; the CIA estimated the group to have 20,000-31,000 active members in Syria and Iraq, compared with al-Qaeda's total 19,000-27,000, UPI reported. It may have the social media aptitude and the publicity skills. But in the case with al-Qaeda, silent often means deadly.

Read the full report here

By Hayat Norimine


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