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Deciphering Competition Between al-Qa`ida and the Islamic State | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

Deciphering Competition Between al-Qa`ida and the Islamic State | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point

Fractures between jihadist groups like al-Qa`ida and the Islamic State have ushered in periods of both destructive competition and escalating competition. Destructive competition, when terror groups attack each other, arises predominately from internal splits when terrorist factions occupy the same terrain. It can be amplified by younger extremists seeking a more violent direction than older members, the presence of foreign fighter contingents with divergent interests, and the existence of terrorist ‘Pretorian Guards’ lacking a stake in a post-conflict settlement.

Source: Deciphering Competition Between al-Qa`ida and the Islamic State | Combating Terrorism Center at West Point