What next from Islamic State?
Islamic State (IS) in Syria as a territorial entity has effectively been defeated. As a result, over 30,000 fighters and families have been displaced with many being held in Kurdish camps including some foreign fighters. Al Baghdadi the organisation’s leader has responded by making a rare video appearance. His message, I am still here and so is Islamic State, our focus has changed but we are still leading the struggle. He refers to the long battle ahead and to affiliates across the globe, specifically acknowledging the recent attacks in Sri Lanka as an example of a partnership in terror.
Sitting on the floor cross legged, with a short barrel AK 47 at his side in a pose mimicking that of Usama Bin Laden in footage after 9/11. Baghdadi, casting himself in the image of a guerrilla leader and IS as an insurgency movement rather than as the established Khalif of an Islamic State, as he did when he last stood before the cameras in Mosul five years ago.
A reminder that the threat from Islamic State is multifaceted and global and still represents the primary international terrorist threat. Its perhaps illustrative that the US governments price on Al Baghdadi’s head is now twenty-five million USD, while Usama Bin Laden’s son only commands a mere one million.read more