Mohammed Abu Rumman
Despite the American celebration, during which the death of Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, the leader of ISIS, was announced in a village in northwestern Syria, expectations that this event would lead to an effective impact on the rise of jihadist groups became modest and realistic, but almost closer to calculations. The US election campaign, to raise the popularity of US President Joe Biden in preparation for the upcoming midterm elections there, as happened with his predecessor Donald Trump, who announced and celebrated the killing of the former leader of the organization less than two years ago, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and as Barack Obama celebrated before them the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Perhaps a cursory look at the biography of al-Qurashi, Abdullah Qardash, or Amir Muhammad, shows us the essence of the story of terrorism and its fight against it. He is known in the Iraqi army, belongs to a village in Tal Afar district, and his father worked as a muezzin in the mosque, but his life, as is the case with most of the leaders of ISIS, was turned upside down, after the American invasion of Iraq, and he committed to al-Qaeda after that, before he was imprisoned After his release from prison, he returned to errands with ISIS, until he became the “hidden caliph”.
Well, if we went back a little and imagined a different scenario from the invasion of Iraq, and the subsequent emergence of sectarian violence there that led to the killing of thousands and the displacement of millions, and there was a consensual political solution in those countries, would his life course have changed to this degree, and if we assume that he headed to Extremism, wasn’t it an internal Iraqi issue at the worst!
Al-Qurashi’s model is not different from other dozens of leaders who were produced by crises, events and developments, and whose path was linked to storm crises in Arab and Islamic countries, as a result of political and security failures, conflicting sectarian, ethnic and religious identities, or state fragility, failure of development, and internal economic and social conditions. Violent – it has become a violent threat to the world when it has become part of international politics and is dealt with by military interventions, drones, and head-hunting and leaders in these organizations, in a game that seems to be not about to end.
The godfather of ISIS in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in 2006 by an American air strike, after that came a series of leaders who were no less dangerous if not more than him. Dozens of al-Qaeda leaders were killed and arrested, then Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in 2019 in an operation similar to the killing of the latter, Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, in form and content, but has the danger of extremism and terrorism ended?!
The threat of ISIS may have receded in Iraq and Syria, and the organization that attracted tens of thousands from all over the world no longer possesses that magical aura through which it made a terrifying surge in recruitment and propaganda and a shift in the patterns of terrorist operations, but it did not end in Iraq and Syria and is still feeding on problems and crises. The interior there, despite the announcement by the US administrations to eliminate him militarily, and there is no clearer indication of that than the complex and dangerous operation he carried out (days before the killing of his leader) against a prison housing thousands of ISIS detainees held in areas controlled by Kurdish forces, which ended with the killing of hundreds. of ISIS members and dozens of Kurdish forces, but after nearly a week of hit-and-run battles, media ambiguity, and the terrorizing of hundreds of thousands of civilians in those areas and their flight for fear of military confrontations there.
The irony is that the organization that is still struggling in Iraq and Syria and insists on survival has become a global brand, and has dozens of branches affiliated with it. Over the past years, it has witnessed a tremendous rise and remarkable spread, such as the spread of wildfire in the African continent, which has internal problems, religious and ethnic, and the fragility of countries and spaces. The extended geography, which gives the organization a great opportunity to hide, work, spread and reproduce a model worse than the destroyed caliphate model in Iraq and Syria.
Last year, the formation of an international counter-terrorism operations room for the African continent was announced, and US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, called last year for the need to confront the threat of the spread of terrorism there, as during the last three years (since 2019) dozens of terrorist operations took place. Thousands have died, in nearly 15 African countries, as branches of the organization are active in Central, West and East Africa, which are local jihadist groups that have declared their allegiance to the organization, such as the West African Organization, the Greater Sahara Organization , the Alliance of Allied Democratic Forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda and Ansar al-Sunna in Mozambique, as well as On the other cells and groups of the organization in the east and north of the African continent.
Until now, the African problem in terrorism is still of a continental character, linked to the internal problems in most of these countries, but with international interventions to combat terrorism, on the one hand, and the persistence and rootedness of internal crises in these countries, the real fear is that the brown continent will become the new source for the export of Daesh with a copy Refined to the world.
Just as ISIS succeeded in extending its ideological influence and delivering its message to Africa, it achieved the same in East Asia, especially after the splits that occurred in the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, which led to the birth of the “Khorasan Province” organization, which carried out major operations after the exit of American forces from Afghanistan, and began to attract hundreds of jihadist fugitives from other regions, especially from Iraq and Syria, men, women and children, whose countries do not want to take them back or who are angry at the situation in their countries in Asia.