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Jelle van Buuren discusses the death of Aboe Bakr Al-Baghdadi in Dutch newspaper de Stentor

Jelle van Buuren, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, discusses the death of Al-Baghdadi and whether this could also mean the end of IS.

The death of IS leader Al-Baghdadi obviously has great impact. But it does not mean that we have nothing more to fear from IS, or so believes Jelle van Buuren. 'When the Americans shot Osama Bin Laden a little over eight years ago, that did not mean Al-Qaeda had gone too.'

The organisational structure of IS is also not so hierarchical that the absence of their leader means that they are no longer able to function. The caliphate may have al but collapsed but the ideology behind is has not. 'Let's not celebrate too soon, IS is a typical networking organisation, it is made up out of local and regional groups that have been inspired by Al-Baghdadi's ideology. They are mostly busy fighting their own little wars and they will certainly continue to do so.'


Van Buuren is reluctant to comment on the effect Donald Trump's upcoming press conference will have. Among other things, Trump said that Al-Baghdadi 'died like a dog'. Trump also said that Al-Baghdadi was a coward. 'That was obviously meant for a Western audience, to demonstrate how awful the man was. And the use of words is consistent with Trump's presidency. President Obama consistently refused to speak Bin Laden's name after his death, that is also an option. But eventually, news got out that porn and books on conspiracy theories were found at Bin Laden's house. That is also propaganda. Either way, it will most definitely provoke anger with IS supporters.'

You can read the full article (in Dutch) in 'de Stentor'.


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