Militant Islamist fighters hold the flag of Islamic State (IS) while taking part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province in this June 30, 2014 file photo. 2014 saw the rise of the Sunni militant group Islamic State, which has seized swathes of territory in both Syria and Iraq.   REUTERS/Stringer

Islamic State seen overtaking al Qaeda in South Asia social media war

Islamist militant propaganda websites and social media accounts in South Asia are promoting Islamic State at the expense of al Qaeda, analysts said on Friday, highlighting the rivalry between the two global militant groups.

Disaffected Taliban factions have started to look toward Islamic State, impressed by its rapid capture of territory in Syria and Iraq, though there is no evidence it is providing substantial material support to the Taliban.

The popularity of IS comes at the expense of al Qaeda, whose deep pockets and foreign fighters once readily attracted local commanders. But al Qaeda has been decimated by drone strikes and its traditional influence severely eroded.

  • Martin B

    “But al Qaeda has been decimated by drone strikes…”

    Is there a good reason why every Islamic Statist in Raqqa wasn’t droned out of existence 6 months ago?

    • Norman_In_New_York

      After pounding Israel over civilian casualties in Gaza, Obama didn’t want to risk looking like a hypocritical dickhead by killing civilians in Raqqa. Faking morality is more important to him than victory. However, the Kurds are advancing on Raqqa, and when they lay siege to the IS capital, the civilian bloodbath will be worse than any aggregation of drone strikes.