The terrorist al-Qaeda group, a creation of the US and Saudi Arabia, has now expanded into “diverse offspring” that vie in an “implosive rift” for power in the Middle East, says an academic, Press TV reports.
“Originally established by Washington in Afghanistan during the military occupation of the country by Soviet Union, it was called al-Qaeda, meaning ‘base’,” wrote Dr. Ismail Salami in an op-ed titled “Deconstructing al-Qaeda: A force in periphery” on Press TV’s website on Thursday.
“Soon, the group was expanded under the aegis of the CIA and Saudi-funded Pakistani intelligence agency (ISI) in order to oust the Soviet forces from the region and safeguard the interests of the US government,” he added.
“Following a secret long-term agenda,” Salami went on to explain, “Washington recruited militants from different parts of the region including Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, Yemen and central Asian countries with the ultimate goal of disseminating and instilling an ideology of perversion in the name of Islam in the world.”
Salami pointed out that the terrorist group “al-Qaeda was introduced into the region to play as a new actor in the periphery rather than in the center.”
“Extremism was their goal and intellectual perversion was what they utilized in order to sow the seeds of extremism and dry up the roots of true faith.”
Salami referred to the diverse groups born out of the original al-Qaeda, “including Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Taliban, Jabhat al-Nusra, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Syria.”
The Middle East expert then explained how two such groups, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and Jabhat al-Nusra, sought to merge with one another to form what is referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) “immediately after the crisis began to simmer in Syria.”
However, Salami wrote, the heads of the two groups, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi AKA Dr. Ibrahim (AQI) and Abu Mohammed al-Joulani (Jabhat al-Nusra), emerged as rivals vying “in manslaughter and inconceivably ruthless acts such as beheading and mutilating.”
“The problem is that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proves to be a more formidable rival for the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra and that the latter does not wish to be a second-rate leader compared to the former in the eyes of the al-Qaeda leader (Ayman al-Zawahiri).”
“Further to that, Zawahiri feels threatened by Al-Baghdadi, who has frequently disobeyed him. The master and the minion are apparently shifting places and there is a powerful force at work to thwart the realization of this nightmare for Zawahiri.”
The ensuing infighting has resulted in things going haywire for the US and Saudi Arabi - the original creators of al-Qaeda - and the terrorist group itself, Dr. Salami explained.
“In the final analysis, the center cannot hold and the Saudi-US lovechild of terrorism is running amuck and falling apart,” Salami concluded.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011.