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libyatodayMarina Eleftheriadou (Ph.D)
(Research Associate/ Senior Editor, Centre for Mediterranean, Middle East & Islamic Studies (CEMMIS)

Copyright: Research Institute for European and American Studies (www.rieas.gr) Publication date: 21 April 2015

The power struggle within the salafi-jihadist movement continues to stir the 'jihadsphere'. Al-Baghdadi's open challenge to the salafi-jihadi status quo peaked with his June 2014 claim to the Caliphate, which further gnawed the failing power of al-Qaeda that until recently was the dominant power in the salafi-jihadi sub-system. ISIS' recent attempts towards 'remaining and expanding' beyond the Syria-Iraq front, as its strategic design dictates, constitute a further escalation of the intra-jihadi power struggle that directly challenges al-Qaeda's unipolar claim to jihadi branding and franchise. The flurry of declarations of support and bay'ah (to al-Zawahiri or al-Baghdadi) has been dichotomizing the salafi-jihadi movement between loyal to al-Qaeda forces and the 'defectors' to the self-proclaimed Islamic State; thus, sealing the increasing bipolarity in the jihadi sub-system...Read more

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