ISIS Hates Being Called "Daesh." Here's Why.
In the years since, both groups have carried out acts of terror, killing huge numbers of civilians. The two are actually seeking different outcomes ultimately. Al-Qaeda's main goal is to drive the U.S. and its Western allies out of the Middle East so its vision of an Islamic government can begin to rule. ISIS on the other hand, wants to take over Iraq and Syria to impose a global caliphate. However, given the recent attacks in Paris, it appears ISIS' ambitions may be shifting. The two also differ in how they view non-Sunni Muslims. Al-Qaeda regards any non-Sunni Muslim as an "untrue" believer, but ISIS is going farther and outright targeting non-Sunnis in order to "purify" the Muslim world.
Al Qaeda calls Islamic State illegitimate but suggests cooperation (reuters.com)
"Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri dismissed Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as illegitimate but said his followers would join them in fighting the Western-led coalition in Iraq and Syria if possible."
What ISIS Really Wants (theatlantic.com)
"What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from, and what are its intentions? "
What does Al Qaeda want? (foreignpolicy.com)
"In my last post, I argued that evaluating progress in our war with al Qaeda is possible, but that we must first answer a series of questions, beginning with "What is al Qaeda?" In this post, I'll look at the second issue - the problem of al Qaeda's objectives in their war. "
Comparing Al Qaeda and ISIS: Different goals, different targets (brookings.edu)
"The Islamic State's influence and model are spreading."