Al-Qaeda Maghreb Considers IS Caliphate Illegal, Al-Akhbar Says

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, known as AQIM, sees the caliphate proclaimed by Islamic State in some areas of Syria and Iraq as illegal, Al-Akhbar news agency reported, citing Yahya Abu Hammam, the head of AQIM.

“We do not recognize the legality of this caliphate nor the legitimacy of the allegiance to this organization,” Hammam, an Algerian national whose real name is Jemal Oukacha, said in an interview, extracts of which were published Saturday. This caliphate is “not on the road of the prophet,” which is “neither to do the war against the Muslims nor
to sow the discord among the groups that support the Islam,” he said.

Muslims don’t have to show allegiance to IS, he said. Al-Qaeda in Maghreb and the militant Mourabitoune group claimed joint responsibility for a Nov. 20 attack on a luxury hotel in Mali that killed 22 people, many of them foreigners.

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