2

Bin‘ali acted as his intermediary with the Islamic State leadership, whom al-Maqdisi threatened with dire consequences should they fail to participate.

What does this mean?! And what kind of structure is it? (The second part of the sentence, I mean.)

Note: Bin'ali and al-Maqdisi are two Jihadi figures.

2

Bin‘ali acted as his intermediary with the Islamic State leadership, whom al-Maqdisi threatened with dire consequences should they fail to participate.

Now let's analyze the sentence -

  1. Bin‘ali acted as his intermediary with the Islamic State leadership

  2. al-Maqdisi threatened Islamic State leadership with dire consequences should they fail to participate. (depending on the context whether it is Bin'ali or Islamic State leadership who got the threat call from al-Maqdisi)

We are familiar with this construction -

A will perform this task should B fail to do it = A will perform this task if B should fail to do it.

Sentence #2 in analysis is having the same construction.

Now does your original sentence make sense?

3
  • Yes! Thanks a lot!! ...and, "should", here, means "would", right? or there's a difference?
    – user8961
    Jul 21 '14 at 7:28
  • @user8961 you can say so :) Jul 21 '14 at 8:51
  • 1
    @user8961 Should [subject] [infinitive] is an alternative way of expressing If [subject] [finite verb]. In this case, "Should they fail" = "If they fail". Jul 21 '14 at 11:24

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