ISIS Quickly Surpassing al-Qaeda in Recruitment Drive

State Dept: ISIS a Bigger Threat With a Full-Blown Army

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) saw itself disavowed by al-Qaeda last year amid rising tensions with Jabhat al-Nusra, but the loss of the al-Qaeda imprimatur not only doesn’t appear to have hurt ISIS, but is hurting al-Qaeda.

That’s because ISIS is now in the process of forming what it is calling a “caliphate,” and young would-be jihadists see them as the more effective and more upwardly mobile movement than al-Qaeda, with its stogy leadership and no real territory of its own.

Al-Qaeda remains a force to be reckoned with globally, with significant affiliates like AQAP and AQIM, but ISIS has leap-frogged them both for recruits and for Western officials’ scare mongering.

The State Department is now openly saying that ISIS is “worse” than al-Qaeda, a bigger threat with a “full-blown army,” and with ISIS in control of a nation spanning much of Iraq and Syria, it’s a trend that’s only getting worse.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of