Aymenn Tamimi is a doctoral candidate at Swansea University, where he focuses on the role of historical narratives in Islamic State propaganda. His research focuses primarily on Iraq, Syria and Jihadism. He established the Islamic State Archives project in collaboration with Jihadology for the storage of internal Islamic State documents and files obtained from Iraq and Syria.
Statements by imprisoned Islamic State members can present compelling data but also potential pitfalls. A recent Newlines Institute interview with senior ISIS leader Abdul Nasser Qardash offers rich insight into ISIS’ beliefs and planning during former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s reign.
Policymakers can take some reassurance that they will not be facing a supercharged jihadist threat from a real and lasting merger and unification of ISIS and al Qaeda. However, the persistence of division, competition, and infighting between the groups should not give rise to complacency.