By Simon Kent.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, (pictured) who has been the leader of the organization since the death of Bin Laden in 2011, has issued a short statement urging Iraqi Sunnis to begin an insurgency against the Iraqi government.
Predecessors of the self declared Islamic State, "Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia," were allied to Al-Qaeda up until around 2005, when Bin Laden rebuked the Iraqi leadership of the group (and its Jordanian commander, Abu Musab al Zarqawi) for being far too brutal and killing too many civilians.
Zarqawi didn't listen, and instead formed the "Islamic State of Iraq," in 2006 which was largely defeated by Sunni tribes and US troops between 2006 and 2011. Since then, the so called Islamic State have risen to prominence as the most successful radical jihadi group. But since so many Sunni Iraqis have turned on IS, Zawahari's plea may be wishful thinking, and an attempt to stay relevant.
The vast majority of Sunnis will not be likely to listen, and will likely reject Al Qaeda as much as they have recently turned on IS.
(Source: The Long War Journal)