Emir Of ISIS Terrorist Group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Is Dead

Updated Monday 28 October 2019 8:4
Emir Of ISIS Terrorist Group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Is Dead
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the fugitive emir of ISIS, the man who transformed a breakaway al-Qaeda group into a transnational terrorist franchise that brutalized and killed civilians in more than a dozen countries and who threatened to rewrite the map of the Middle East by luring foreign recruits to wage jihad in Iraq and Syria, is dead.

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So what happens to the terror organization that he painstakingly assembled?

In many ways, the group is already evolving. ISIS leadership ranks have proved resilient despite more than five years of war. The group has been quick to adapt to new circumstances. No longer capable of seizing and holding territory, the surviving foot soldiers have instead gone back to their guerrilla roots, carrying out ambushes, bombings and assassinations. And despite the loss of its territorial caliphate in Iraq and Syria, ISIS has expanded its reach to include 14 separate affiliates in countries across Asia and Africa.

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces removes an Islamic State flag from a wall on Oct. 18, 2017.

In the long-term, analysts say, what may be most significant about Saturday’s Special Operations commando raid is not al-Baghdadi’s decapitation from ISIS’ shadowy hierarchy but the ease with which he will be replaced. The group, like its predecessor organization, Al Qaeda in Iraq, routinely taps new commanders to fill the vacuum left by those who are assassinated. The replacements occur with such regularity that the U.S. Special Operations community jokingly refers to removing leaders as “mowing the grass.”

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