Among all the prominent headlines of the past week, one seems to be highlighted more than others. This persistent headline is none other than the murder of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the late leader of the notorious terrorist organisation, the Islamic State of Iraq (or more commonly abbreviated as ISIS). The sole mention of this abbreviation in any article or headline, especially in recent years, sends a shiver down people’s spines. However, the murder of their leader, has taken quite a different route and has gone by unnoticed by many individuals, in spite of a press release conducted by Donald Trump.
The prevailing concern, however, is that the next leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, may be a larger threat than we expected.
The problem that arises with the naming of the new leader is that there is no information about al-Qurayshi at hand, meaning that this new leader could take international terrorism to a different level. Why? One reason for this prediction would be that in a recording seized from Telegram, he is heard ominously stating “Don’t you see America that the State is now on the threshold of Europe and Central Africa?”. He also explicitly takes umbrage with the presidency of Trump by saying “Don’t you see how you became the laughingstock of the nations, and an old and crazy man controls your fate, whose opinion changes between morning and evening?”
According to Devorah Margolin, a senior researcher at George Washington University’s program on extremism, the procedure with which the governing council of ISIS has selected the new leader “shows the ISIS bureaucracy (system of government where important decisions are made by state officials instead of representatives elected by the state) is still in place.” She also added that “We should not underestimate them.”
Therefore, it can be concluded that despite the fact that many have turned a blind eye to the al-Baghdadi’s murder and its aftermath, its significance and potential consequences will be worth writing in the history books, conspicuously cast in a negative light.