In the fight against terrorism, the key is in destroying their leadership.
Cut off the head of the snake, the whole body dies. And destroy leaders within Islamic terror cells, and many of their followers give up.
Yet one particular ISIS leader is proving very hard to kill. It even looks like earlier reports of his death were premature.
A top Kurdish counter-terrorism official said on Monday he was 99 percent sure that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alive and located south of the Syrian city of Raqqa, despite reports that he had been killed.
“Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive,” Lahur Talabany told Reuters in an interview.
“Don’t forget his roots go back to al Qaeda days in Iraq. He was hiding from security services. He knows what he is doing.”
The secretive Islamic State leader has frequently been reported killed or wounded since he climbed up to the pulpit of a mosque in Mosul in 2014 and declared a caliphate with himself the leader of all Muslims.
After leading his fighters on a sweep through northern Iraq, Baghdadi attempted to create a self-sustaining modern-day caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.
He is now a man on the run, but still a cunning foe, said Talabany, who as part of the international coalition against Islamic State has been at the forefront of efforts to track Baghdadi down.
The nature of the war on terror is not like any other conflict. Because these terrorists don’t represent a single country, they can easily evade capture or death. ISIS and other networks infiltrate numerous countries and continue their operations, even when one base is destroyed.
It’s very likely that Baghdadi eluded the most recent attack that should have killed him. Much like his predecessor bin Laden, he can hide out in unknown locations for years, causing harm.
This is why fighting ISIS and other radical Islamic terror groups is so difficult. It’s made even more difficult when Muslim nations fund and protect them.
But is this Kurdish official correct or are earlier reports correct? We’ve yet to receive official word from the Pentagon, so take all news from Syria with a grain of salt!