Intro and Analysis
The latest statement from al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP, h/t to Charlie Winter for drawing it to my attention) denounces the coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State [IS] and reiterates its call for an end to infighting among the jihadis in the Iraq-Syria arena. I take this opportunity to emphasize that this statement does not mean a true reconciliation between AQAP and IS, let alone between al-Qa'ida as a whole and IS: as I have outlined before, IS' claimed Caliphate status and demand for recognition and allegiance from all the world's Muslims prevents a real compromise when it comes to power status and relations with al-Qa'ida and its affiliates.
Though AQAP avoids calling IS 'jamaat ad-dawla' which, used by Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qa'ida central, refuses to recognize IS' claim to be a state or caliphate, the avoidance of this term is merely in keeping with the anti-fitna tone of this statement. This also applies to AQAP's rejection of fighting IS on the grounds its members are "khawarij" (a common term used by Syrian rebels- including Jabhat al-Nusra- to denounce IS). Indeed, AQAP will not pronounce IS to be non-Muslims, but rather sees them as fellow Muslims- misguided in going forth to declare a Caliphate- who deserve solidarity when fighting non-Muslims.
Statement on the Crusader Alliance
Thanks be to God who says, "And they will not stop fighting you until they turn you away from your religion if they can"...
So within the Crusader war on Islam, the global alliance has undertaken a fierce campaign against the mujahideen in Iraq and al-Sham, especially our brothers in the Islamic State, including bombing and killing without any observance of taboos, and when the enemies saw that the airstrikes would be of no use to them- by God's permission- they began to talk about ground forces, wanting to put out the fire of God with their mouths.
In this context we affirm our support for our brothers against the global Crusader campaign, and we share their enmity against this campaign. We also affirm that it is forbidden to participate in the war against them [IS] on the grounds that they are khawarij, and indeed they are no such thing. We call on all the mujahideen to forget their disagreements, put an end to the infighting between themselves, and strive to push back the Crusader campaign that is targeting all [of them].
Indeed this campaigh is a Crusader campaign against Islam, a campaign against the rule of God's law, a campaign whose aim is to ensure that Muslims remain subservient to their enemies and have no control over their own affairs. For this end, there is an agreement on this campaign by the Christians, the Majus [Persians/Shi'a] and the traitor apostate rulers.
Indeed support for the Muslim is obligatory on his brother, just as the Prophet (may God's peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim- he does not oppress or forsake him"- Muslim* narrated this. Therefore, we call on all Muslims to strive to support their brothers against the Crusaders by any means they themselves can- in wealth or tongue.
We also affirm our call on all who can wear out the Americans to strive to do so by military, economic or media means. For they are the leaders of this war, and the foundations of this campaign.
23 Dhu Hijjah 1435 AH
17 October 2014
*Muslim= a hadith collector, one of the two 'Sahih' (most reliable) collections, the other being Imam Bukhari.