AQIM renegades pledge fealty to ISIS

A new armed group calling itself the "Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria" has split from al-Qaeda's North African framchise and sworn loyalty to ISIS. In a communique released Sept. 14, a regional commander of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said he has from the group, accusing it of "deviating from the true path." Seeming to address ISIS "caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the commander, Gouri Abdelmalek AKA Khaled Abu Suleimane, wrote, "You have in the Islamic Maghreb men if you order them they will obey you." The newly created "Caliphate Soldiers" or "Jound al Khilafa fi Ard al Jazayer" is the second group to break with AQIM and pledge loyalty to ISIS, the first one being Mokhtar Belmokhtar's "Those who sign in Blood," which observers say is now likely based in southern Libya. (Reuters, Al Jazeera, Sept. 15)


  1. Al-Qaeda franchises unite behind ISIS?

    AQIM and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) issued a rare joint statement urging jihadist factions in Syria to unite against the US attack on ISIS. "Stop the infighting between you and stand as one rank against America's campaign and that of its satanic alliance that lies in wait for all of us, to break us stick by stick," the statement read. "Stop the campaigns of mutual slander, and direct the honest pens and swords against the head of infidelity, America, and its unjust aggressive alliance. In the face of this unjust crusaders' campaign, we have no choice but to stand in front of the hater of Islam and Muslims, the U.S. and its allies, who are the real enemies of the Muslim world." (Reuters, Sept. 16)

  2. ISIS franchise behind beheading of French tourist

    Jund al-Khilafa (Soldiers of the Caliphate) claimed responsibility for the beheading of French mountaineer Herve Gourdel in Algeria's Kabylie region. (BBC News, Sept. 25)