In his recent article for Jihadica, Aaron Zelin proposed the emergence of a tripolar jihadi world consisting of al-Qaeda (AQ), the Islamic State (IS), and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).
While the first two poles are competing for the legitimacy and leadership of global jihadism, HTS has already departed the global arena and focused its efforts on running its proto-state in Idlib, Syria.
Disputes between the three poles are intractable due to the ideological intransigence of IS and, to a lesser degree, of AQ, in addition to the political pragmatism of HTS, which has been conceived by the other poles as a deviation from the “right” path.
Read the full article in Jihadica
Jihadica is a website dedicated to analysis of the transnational Sunni Islamist movement known as jihadism. Much of the primary source material related to this movement is diffuse, known only to a few specialists, and inaccessible to the public and policymakers unless they pay a fee. Jihadica features expert commentary by people who have the requisite language training to understand this material and advanced degrees in relevant fields.