Is ISIS In Need Of Strong Leadership To Make A Comeback?
The most feared terrorist group ISIS can be seen growing weak, the US intelligence has confirmed. The group is now seeking strong leadership as Abu Ibrahim Al Hashimi Al Qurayshi died a week ago in a US raid.
Also known as Hajji Abdallah, he was a little-known leader in hiding in a small village of Syria near the Turkish border. Living in obscurity helped him and therefore he was known to carry a lesser-known profile from his predecessor Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. ISIS requires a credible leader, or ‘Caliph’, to have good health, substantial religious scholarship and, most importantly, lineage to Quraysh, the tribe of the Prophet Mohammed.
Abu Ibrahim arguably met only one such criterion. But by the time a leader is chosen, which is going to take a while, the power of this notorious caliphate is going to be seen weakening. In its heyday, in 2015, ISIS controlled large parts of Syria and Iraq, with affiliates in at least eight countries.
With systematic crackdowns, this influence has reduced over a period of time. According to political analysts, for a long period of his time as leader, [Abu Bakr] Al Baghdadi was able to meet with his seniors and Al Wulat [authority holders] and run the organisation as a whole, whereas Abu Ibrahim was not as connected to his group due to the different reality on the ground, ISIS’s relative weakness and because the international community took over the land that the group once controlled. Now, ISIS is primarily composed of sleeper cells and lone wolves, although this does not mean they do not pose a threat.
ISIS does not have the manpower or the resources to create another state right now. The operation and scale of ISIS fighters does not indicate that they are seeking to impose control over territory but only to disrupt stability and create chaos for their so-called enemies.” Until a new leader is announced, the consensus among Syria watchers, analysts and even counter-terrorism forces is that an attack similar to the raid of Hassakeh should not be disregarded.