Al Qaeda’s senior leadership has disowned the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) in a statement released online. ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, have repeatedly refused to obey orders issued by Ayman al Zawahiri and his subordinates. As a result, al Qaeda’s general command — commonly referred to as al Qaeda’s senior leadership (AQSL) in the West — has cut off the group.

Al Qaeda’s senior leaders now say they have “no connection” with ISIS, which is “not an affiliate with the al Qaeda group and has no organizational relation with it.” Furthermore, al Qaeda’s general command is “not responsible” for ISIS’ actions.

“The branches of al Qaeda are the ones that the General Command of the group announces and recognizes,” the statement reads, according to a translation obtained by The Long War Journal. “We emphasize our loyalty, love, and support for every mujahid. We are keen on the fellowship among Muslims and mujahideen.” […]