When the once powerful Islamic state (ISIS) crumbles, and its desperate warrior makes a last stand in its last enclave surrounded by American backed coalition forces, its ideological leader is nowhere to be found.
ISIS militants who have abandoned the coalition forces believe that Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi has abandoned the struggle when his leadership is needed most.
His absence causes deep cracks within the tiny terrorist organization, which, despite being outbursts, still boasts between 28,000 and 32,000 soldiers
"He hides somewhere, people were angry." Mohammed Ali, an ISIS warrior from Canada, captured by US citizens ruled by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian democracy, told the Sunday Times.
The ideological appeal of ISIS and Islamic extremism persists, but Baghdadas leadership vacuum and the recurring territorial losses of what remains of ISIS holdings in Syria reduce the influence of the once powerful organization. [1
9659003] WHAT IS BAGHDADI? NO HUSBAND FOR ELUSIVE ISIS LEADER, THE WORLD'S MOST WANTED MAN
This Friday February 22 file file, men are screened after being evacuated from the last territory held by Islamic state group militants, near Baghouz, eastern Syria (AP)
Continuing rumors of Baghdadas death have remained, but he is probably still alive. The United States offers up to $ 25 million for any credible information that leads to its capture. Baghdadi also suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and injuries that occurred during an air run years ago.
"Iraqi intelligence follows Baghdad and we think he never stays in one place for more than a day," Abu Ali al-Basri, chief of Iraq's intelligence service at the Interior Ministry, told Fox News. "We have information that he still moved from cities in Syria and entered the Iraq border through Anbar (province) with movement to borders with Salahuddin (province).
Although Baghdad is far from the battlefield, he has continued to encourage his loyal and lively followers to continue the struggle, his latest call to arms was in a series of sound clips released in August 2018.
Before resurfacing in August 2018, Baghdadi had not heard from nearly a year.
Continued rumors Baghdadas death remains, but he is still alive, the United States offering up to $ 25 million for any credible information that leads to his capture. Baghdadi also suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and injuries that occurred during an airstrike years ago.
In its peak, the Islamic State ruled a large string of unattended space over Syria and Iraq, which controls a population of more than eight million people. Baghdadi's management of the caliphate was crucial to its governance structure, and his high jihadist rhetoric provided the inspiration needed to draw hundreds of thousands of foreign warriors joining the terrorist group.
Without Baghdada's spiritual and operational direction, and the ability of the Islamic state to govern, which was the main driver of its appeal and what distinguishes it from other terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, the group's future is unknown.
Terrorist groups are based on an ideological basis for justifying their entire existence and a charismatic leader is crucial to justify their rank-and-file membership to meet the ISIS ultimate and violent goals.
A man is enriched by an American-backed Syrian democratic force (SDF) fighter after being evacuated out of the last territory held by Islamic statesmen, near Baghouz, eastern Syria. (AP)
Just like managing any organization, it is important to emphasize the people and ensure their support. Being away from the battlefield at the most critical moments, Baghdadi seems to have failed his eager supporters.
Max Abrahms, professor of political science at the northeastern university and author of the book "Rules for Rebels: The Science of Victory in Military History", says Baghdadi's disappearance will not change the group's violent nature.
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"Removing Baghdadi will not affect the group's tactics," he said. is so incompetent that his removal would have no impact on the group's violent performance. "Leadership charge or simply the leader's absence may have a disruptive or dissuasive effect on the subordinates left to face their possible downfall. But this does not make them less violent or threatening.
In this March 1 file, a woman is recovered by a US military supported by the Syrian Democratic Defense (SDF) in a foreclosure area after being evacuated out of the last territory held by Islamic state militants, in the desert outside Baghouz, Syria. (AP)
The caliphate in the name can be gone, but thousands of fighters are left. They have been forced to go underground and adopt an asymmetric form of warfare.
Terrorist attacks such as the January 17 suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, where four Americans were killed, are an indication of the dangers still arising from a crime
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And while many former ISIS soldiers are returning home, many also come to various locations around the world to continue the cause, including Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Nigeria and Egypt Sinai Peninsula.
ISIS will continue to exist in any capacity in Syria, as the brutality and repression of the Assad regimes will burn further violent extremism and encourage Sunni resistance. Assad may have regained control of most of the country, but the conditions that led to the emergence of ISIS have not been addressed and the poor social and economic situation in a fragmented Syria is likely to be a driving force for future mobilization.
Despite President Trump's January 2019 statement that ISIS has been defeated and his announcement that US troops will be gradually withdrawn from Syria, ISIS and the ideology that feeds its hatred, continues to be a resilient and formidable threat.
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Chris Massaro is a researcher for Fox News, specializing in international relations