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Decentralization of powers weakens IS

The Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is forced to limit his movements while relying on primitive means of communication, which weakens the organization.
Militant Islamist fighters ride horses as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. The fighters held the parade to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighbouring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in

Just like any Middle Eastern leader, Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Ibrahim al-Badri) relies upon his relatives to guarantee his own security. However, ever since his spectacular appearance in the Mosul mosque in July, he has been missing a great deal of freedom of movement, which has prompted him to resort to traditional ways to camouflage his whereabouts. Meanwhile, the new generation of leaders in contact with him remains anonymous after leaders close to him were killed during recent months.

A researcher in the field of armed groups, Hashem al-Hashemi, spoke to Al-Monitor about leaders currently surrounding Baghdadi. Chief among these is Abu Bakr al-Khatuna, who hails from Zammar in Mosul, and Hashemi — who published a few weeks ago a book titled “The IS World” — knows that he is one of the most prominent leaders that Baghdadi counts on, being his personal friend. Noman al-Zaidi, according to Hashemi, is another friend of Baghdadi who was killed in Anbar in 2011.

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