Al-Qaida Positioned to Surpass Islamic State Among Jihadis

“The international context is favorable to al-Qaida, which intends to be recognized again as the leader of global jihad,” according to the U.N. report.

At least one U.N. member state intelligence agency said al-Qaida now appears to favor its African affiliates over al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a potentially monumental shift given AQAP’s history of plotting attacks against the West, like the December 2019 shooting at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.

“Even after 20 years, some of al-Qaida’s most senior operatives remain at large and are ready to carry on the mantle of jihad,” Katherine Zimmerman, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, told VOA.

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