October 26, 2020

IntelBrief: One Year after Killing of Baghdadi, What is the State of the Islamic State?

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is displayed on a monitor as U.S. Central Command Commander Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie speaks at a joint press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, on the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Bottom Line Up Front

  • One year ago today, U.S. Special Operations Forces hunted down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who died after detonating a suicide vest. 
  • Core ISIS still has access to hundreds of millions of dollars and maintains connections to middlemen and front companies across the Middle East. 
  • Outside of Iraq and Syria, ISIS continues to focus on the expansion of its affiliates and franchise groups, including growth in sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • As the United States continues to draw down forces from a number of global hotspots, the Islamic State and its affiliates will move to fill the void.