LUCA FRANCINI WRITES — On the 26th of October, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed by US forces and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in northwest Syria. This was a massive win for democracy and freedom across the globe. Islamic extremism has caused widespread despair over the past 20 years, as groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, to name a few, have wreaked havoc on both their native countries and across the globe. Given the continued pursuit of terrorist leaders — Osama Bin-Laden, Abu Bakhr Al-Baghdadi — it is hoped that the strength of these organizations will be diminished, ending, ultimately, in the death of the Islamic state and the forced flight of so many people across the globe.
With the leader of ISIS dead, the questions now are: What’s next in the fight against terrorism? Will there be attacks driven by retaliation? What is next for the Middle East, specifically Syria, Iraq and Turkey? According to Al Jazeera, whoever takes charge of ISIS will be challenged to lead a group so recently attacked – and so effectively.
Yet another question: What will become of ISIS as other terrorist groups fall from power? Osama Bin Laden’s death had grave consequences for Al Qaeda, which lost power in the Middle East. Yet according to the Independent, Isis, given its radical and extreme nature, could gain new life following Baghdadi’s death (he was solely a figurehead, the newspaper claims).
We hope not. The hope, instead, is that the Middle East will achieve peace after all these years of senseless fighting, but that might be too optimistic a view. According to Time, ISIS is a resilient group able to adapt to changing circumstances — and it has only been around for half a decade. The future now is a waiting game, not just for the East, but for the West and the entire international scene.