How Terrorism’s Titanic Egos Help Our National Security

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Like a divorced couple in a bitter custody battle, al Qaeda and the Islamic State’s (ISIS) leaders can’t help but to denounce each other in the ugliest of terms. In the latest salvo, AQ chief Ayman al-Zawahiri said earlier this month ISIS’ leaders are “officers…of Saddam” and anyone who swears allegiance to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, “must know that he’s a partner in all his crimes.”

This latest rhetorical skirmish—derisively calling ISIS personnel ex-Baathists—indicates real, deep-seated animosity. It further underscores the lack of unity among the two largest transnational Sunni terror groups on the planet. This is especially odd, since these groups have generally similar goals and outlook. So why haven’t they—in all their forms and iterations over the last few years—buried the hatchet and merged to create one terror mega-organization?

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