A statement renewing its allegiance to Mullah Mohammad Omar, spiritual leader of the Taliban, was published this week in a new online magazine named "Al-Nafir," or "Call to Arms." The statement is al-Qaida's first response to the establishment, by militant Sunni Muslims, of an all-encompassing Muslim caliphate in Iraq, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and suggests al-Qaida will not easily give up its reputation as leader of worldwide jihads against the West.
The "Islamic State" of Baghdadi has applied pressure on al-Qaida and its efforts at relevance after the push in the Middle East and North Africa for democracy known as the Arab Spring, the death of Osama bin Laden, and the deaths of al-Qaida senior leaders by drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Only one group, a little-known subsidiary of the Pakistani Taliban, has publicly declared its allegiance to the "Islamic State."
Western analysts suspect al-Qaida may soon resort to a massive and noticeable terrorist attack, simply to display its power and significance.