The last 72 hours have probably been pretty interesting for ISIS, ISIL, whatevertheycallthemselvesthesedays. And by interesting, we mean disruptive. The top two of the terrorist organization are now dead; one of them going out cowardly with a suicide vest while the other was killed via airstrike. While reports are still coming out, we can still count this is a ‘W’ for America, two-fold.
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi became the Islamic State of Iraq’s leader in May 2010 and has been on the U.S. State Department’s Global Terrorist list since 2011. Al-Baghdadi played a key role in the growth of the extremist terrorism group. He would orchestrate several bombings and executions through the years. In addition, he would play a large role in growing the Islamic State of Iraq into the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; which is what the group was called once it grew into Syria.
Al-Baghdadi would then announce himself to the ‘caliphate’ of the group, defined as ‘chief Muslim ruler.’ But for someone so big and baghdadi (…. you see what I did there!?) … He began to make mistakes because approximately two months ago, one of his confidants was captured. That confidant was able to lead US Intelligence to one of his wives and a courier. (Somehow, his underwear also got involved to prove his DNA, but we couldn’t find specifics on that and honestly, we aren’t sure we want to know.) That courier was able to lead them to his location.
Al-Baghdadi was captured in a compound in Syria. Toward the end, he was chased by a K9 hero into a dead-end tunnel, where he set off his suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children. Luckily, the K9 and two other servicemembers only suffered minor injuries and all have returned to duty. We still consider this a cowardly way out, however, because he took his children with him.
Just after Al-Baghdadi’s death was announced, so was his top spokesman- Abu Al-Hassan Al-Mujahir. Also in Northern Syria, Al-Mujahir was killed in an airstrike just hours after Al-Baghdadi. Mujahir was supposedly going to be Al-Baghdadi’s ISIL successor.
There is quite some speculation on what will happen next with ISIL, especially since it has been steadily losing it’s grasp in Syria and Iraq. Some say there is already a next in line while others say ISIL may go ahead and lay low for a bit to regroup. Still, most are worried about the counter activity that may take place.
(If you remember Osama Bin Laden’s death in May 2011, Extortion 17 was shot down that August, killing 31 American military personnel. It has been said the two were semi-related to each other since members of SEAL Team Six were on board, although those members were not directly involved in Bin Laden’s capture.)
What do think will happen to the Islamic State next? Who will be the successor and what will they do now? Does this give us enough leeway to stay in Syria or will we continue to dwindle forces?
Drop a comment and let us know!