The Islamic State’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” gave its last death rattle in the Syrian city of Baghuz in March 2019 after being defeated in Iraq in December 2017 and received the top with the death of its leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi Air after being cornered during a U.S. operation on October 26.
Despite the political leaders celebrating these milestones, experts on jihadism and the fight against terrorism sounded: the group was touched but not sunk. Time has given them reason, as the growing activity of the jihadist group shows in the two countries in which their “caliphate” once spread.
Already in January, a report submitted to the UN Security Council warned that the Islamic State is reassembling and “organizing increasingly daring insurgent attacks, demanding and planning the escape of fighters in detention centers and exploiting deficiencies in the security environment of both countries.” between 14,000 and 18,000 fighters in both countries.
In Iraq, according to the latest report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Islamic State has reported “370 incidents since January versus 187 in the same period in 2019”, stating that it is particularly “asymmetric attacks” in the Anbar provinces of Baghdad , Diyala, Erbil, Kirkuk, Nineveh and Saladin.