Vera Mironova worries that’s what we have on our hands:
The only way for Al-Qaeda to get back to the top of the list of terrorist organizations would be to outbid ISIS on its own field (excessive brutality), to prove that they are still the reigning terrorist organization. This does, unfortunately, look to be the plan of the Al-Qaeda. Although they have co-existed with the Yemen government for years, this “peace” however was shattered on August 9th in the southern Yemeni province of Hadramawt, when fourteen military personnel were brutally slaughtered for no reason. A group of armed men stopped and boarded a civilian bus, identified the military personnel, and proceeded to slit their throats. Following in the ISIS traditions, the armed men identified themselves as Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula, videotaped the mass slaughter and published it online.
Although it is hard to predict the future, evidence would suggest that we can expect to see even more brutality in Middle Eastern conflict while Al-Qaeda tries to regain its title. And after the last incident in Hadramawt, Yemeni government pressed Al-Qaeda to look for a “refuge” in other Middle Eastern countries, like Syria and Iraq, the current strongholds of the ISIS. Therefore, the return of Al-Qaeda to the top of the list of terrorist organizations, an extremely violent scenario, is possible.