A very nice article from the National Review, about the love and hate relationship between Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah. See “Al-Qaeda VS Hezbollah”, June 2013. According to the Bush administration was considering the members of Hezbollah as class A terrorists, while they members of Al-Qaeda as class B terrorists.
It is very normal for Hezbollah terrorists to be class A terrorists and for members of Al-Qaeda to be class B terrorists, because it was Hezbollah that trained Al-Qaeda in the early 90s in Lebanese and Sudanese camps. See “The Hezbollah-Al Qaeda Axis”.
And without the expertise of Hezbollah and Iran the Saudis would have not been able to carry out the attack at the Twin Towers, because neither the Saudi nor the Pakistani government would have been willing to whole heartedly embrace this attack, due to their relation with the US.
On the other hand Iran and Hezbollah would not want Al-Qaeda to obtain Hezbollah’s level of expertise, because the Sunnis of Al-Qaeda and the Shia of Hezbollah and Iran are fighting each other for influence in the Muslim World.
Al-Qaeda was giving Hezbollah money and fighters, both of which Al-Qaeda had in abundance, and Hezbollah was giving Al-Qaeda weapons and technical expertise, both of which Hezbollah had in abundance.
Therefore to say that Hezbollah people are class A terrorists and Al-Qaeda people are class B terrorists it is like saying that the teacher is more knowledgeable than the student. And I do not think the student can become more knowledgeable than the teacher when it comes to terrorism, especially if the teacher does not want that to happen. And Hezbollah does not want that to happen with its Al-Qaeda students.
For the Al-Qaeda people to become equally knowledgeable with Hezbollah, either Turkey or Pakistan should fully support them and train them, like Iran is doing with Hezbollah, and that’s not possible at the moment.
Obviously Iran can support Al-Qaeda in order to attack the US and the Saudi King, but there is a limit to the support the Iranians can provide to Al-Qaeda. That’s why now that US and Iran have reached an agreement Al-Qaeda no longer has the capabilities to carry out the spectacular attacks of the past.
If there is a definite split between the US and Pakistan, Pakistan might support Al-Qaeda against the Americans in Afghanistan, instead of providing Al-Qaeda with some indirect and limited support through its support to the Taliban.
The article also mentions Hezbollah impressive presence in Latin America, and it also says that Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria i.e. al Nusra, is the strongest rival of Bashar al Assad. Note the ISIS was fighting the Syrian Kurds and not Assad. Next to Assad in Syria is the Free Syrian Army, and the men of al Nusra and the Free Syrian Army are communicating vessels. That’s why the American General Petreaus said that NATO has to cooperate with Al-Qaeda against ISIS in Syria.
The article also says that the subsidiaries of Al-Qaeda in Africa attack France, and I am sure they do so with the whole hearted support of Iran and Hezbollah, and until recently with the support of Sudan too. Iran and Turkey are rivals of France. France is an ally of Saudi Arabia.
Remember that the Arabs and the Israelis were counting on the French to block the agreement for Iran’s nuclear program, because France is fighting Iran for the uranium of Africa. But the deal was not blocked in the end because the Obama administration really wanted it.
A difference between Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah is that Hezbollah is a solid organization, while Al-Qaeda is a loose sum of Sunni gangs in various countries. As long as bin Laden was alive there was a central command for Al-Qaeda, and the rest was in the form of franchising. But after bin Laden’s death it is possible that the connection between Al-Qaeda groups has become more loose than before.
That’s why there are no contradictions on the way Hezbollah is moving, while in Al-Qaeda some gangs move in opposite direction from other gangs, and the Al-Qaeda members do not even agree on whether the group should focus on Muslim apostates (Saudi King, Egyptian President etc) or on the Crusaders (NATO).
“The Hezbollah- Al Qaeda Axis”
“Al-Qaeda VS Hezbollah”, June 2013