The Death of a Leader Without a Face
The IS leader has died in a US raid, leaving behind questions of his identity, how he evaded capture, and the narrative of his death.
It was not that much of a surprise that the leader of the Islamic State was hiding out in opposition-held Idlib in Syria. His predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been killed in that province before. What may have been something of a surprise was that Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the man elected two years ago by what remained of the shattered Islamic State’s leadership, had not moved very far from where the last leader had been killed. Atmeh, the site of this week’s raid, was only 23 kilometers from Barisha, the site where Baghdadi was killed in October 2019. Less than an hour by car.
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