Group has been seeking to build support across Islamic world – from south Asia to Africa – through outreach instead of fear
When three al-Qaida veterans were killed in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan in October, it barely created a ripple. So dominant has Isis become in the realm of jihadist lore, that you could be forgiven for thinking that its precursor has been relegated to a mere footnote.
You’d be wrong. Those three deaths, all in US airstrikes, paradoxically hint at a resurgence of al-Qaida, at a time when Isis is in retreat in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Quietly, and more through soft power rather than harsh atrocity, al-Qaida is trying to mount a revival.