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Annals of Associated Forces: AQI Declines to Comply with Orders from Zawahiri?

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Monday, June 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Last week I noted that Ayman al Zawahiri, head of AQ, issued a statement directing that AQI and al Nusrah remain separate entities within the AQ system, and I pointed out various questions this raised from the perspective of the 2001 AUMF.  Now things are getting still more interesting, as a recent message from AQI’s leader defies Zawahiri’s command and insists that the AQI/al Nusrah merger will continue.  From an AUMF perspective, it will be quite interesting to see whether AQ proves willing to and capable of asserting its will over AQI in this matter, though it seems quite possible that AQI has little real ability to put teeth into the merger in any event since al Nusrah thusfar appears hostile to the idea (preferring, instead, an independent and direct connection to AQ itself).