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Tags: al-Qaida | Paris attack | ISIS | Yemen | AQAP

Some Question If US Focus on ISIS Left al-Qaida to Fester

By    |   Thursday, 15 January 2015 11:22 AM EST

Some analysts and lawmakers are questioning whether the Obama administration's focus on defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria took their eye off an "equally sinister" and festering threat of al-Qaida's branches in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the outpost thought to be responsible for the Paris attacks, Politico reports.

"As recently as two years ago, U.S. drone strikes had the Yemeni branch of the organization responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the retreat," Politico writes. "But the U.S.-led campaign against AQAP now appears stalled, and experts are asking whether the administration's policy there has failed."

Politico added: "At the moment, the campaign to defeat ISIL is far more extensive and vigorous than the effort to crush AQAP."

U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, noted the administration may have missed the mark in prioritizing one terror group over the other. He added that the rise of AQAP "serves as a stark reminder that while ISIS has been the center of media attention over the past several months, the most imminent threat to the West continues to emanate from al-Qaida," Politico said.

The group al-Qaida in Yemen released a video Wednesday claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks, USA Today reported, noting that "the degree of the organization's involvement in the attack remains unclear."

The 11-minute video, posted on YouTube but now taken down, was deemed authentic by U.S. authorities, USA Today added.

The Washington Post noted that after the video, ISIS and AQAP could be in competition for top jihadists of the region.

"The emotive religious language and militaristic bravado in the new release also could highlight growing competition with the Islamic State, whose stature among radical Islamists has risen rapidly with its gains in Iraq and Syria and declaration of a self-ruled 'caliphate,'" the Post wrote.

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Some analysts and lawmakers are questioning whether the Obama administration's focus on defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria took their eye off an "equally sinister" and festering threat of al-Qaida, Politico reports.
al-Qaida, Paris attack, ISIS, Yemen, AQAP
304
2015-22-15
Thursday, 15 January 2015 11:22 AM
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