Al-Qaida 'cut off and ripped apart by Isis'


Insiders say group has been drained of Middle East recruits and that US wrongfooted by shift in balance of power between warring jihadi groups.

Two of al-Qaida’s most important spiritual leaders have told the Guardian that the terror group is no longer a functioning organisation after being ripped apart by Isis. In a wide-ranging interview, Abu Qatada, a Jordanian preacher who was based in London before being deported in 2013, and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, regarded as the most influential jihadi scholar alive, say the al-Qaida leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is cut off from his commanders and keeping the group afloat through little more than appeals to loyalty.

Senior insiders in Jordan add that al-Qaida around the Middle East has been drained of recruits and money after losing territory and prestige to its former subordinate division. The ongoing war between al-Qaida and Isis has left the US struggling to catch up with the tectonic shifts within the global jihadi movement, intelligence insiders told the Guardian.[COLOR=#222222][FONT=Tahoma]
Spencer Ackerman, Shiv Malik, Ali Younes and Mustafa Khalili @TheGuardian


It was my understanding that AQ Iraq merged into ISIS.


^ This part would be relevant:

In a typical comment, Barack Obama in March told Vice that Isis “is the direct outgrowth of al-Qaida in Iraq”. Although factually correct, this is substantively misleading: al-Qaida in Iraq was for 10 years al-Qaida’s most fractious and disloyal franchise, even before it began waging its violent campaign against the old guard.