Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

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The Lawfare Podcast

The Lawfare Podcast Special Edition: Syria and The Al-Baghdadi Raid

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, died in a raid conducted by U.S. Special Operation Forces. The president used highly unusual language to describe the raid, including that al-Baghdadi “died like a dog.” He also stated that the U.S. would be “leaving soldiers to secure the oil.” Scott R.


Targeting al-Baghdadi and Selective Notification to Congress: Assessing the Issues

In the aftermath of the successful operation against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the fact that the Trump administration gave advance notice to the Russian government and possibly also to some Republican lawmakers—but not to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff or other Democratic lawmakers—is attracting criticism. Is the criticism warranted? Not from a legal perspective. But it’s complicated from there.

Foreign Policy Essay

The Islamic State’s Married Ideology: Something Borrowed, Something New

Editor’s Note: The Islamic State and al-Qaeda are often, correctly, portrayed as bitter rivals: They compete for recruits and money, and in Syria their forces have repeatedly turned their guns on each other. Yet the line is blurrier when it comes to international terrorism. Prachi Vyas of GWU's Program on Extremism examines an array of American jihadists and describes how many Islamic State enthusiasts are inspired by al-Qaeda ideologues.


Foreign Policy Essay

Don’t (Completely) Blame America for Baghdadi

Editor’s Note: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the brutal leader of the world’s most brutal terrorist group, is an enigma to many Westerners. Unlike Osama bin Laden, Baghdadi does not grant long interviews to Western journalists. So when the group suddenly grabbed Western attention, rumors and false reports abounded. William McCants, the director of the Brookings Project on U.S.

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