ISIS is expanding around the globe despite elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death – carrying out an average 10 terror attacks EVERY DAY, an expert warns.
While US President Donald Trump says that the shadowy group is “100 per cent” defeated, politicians and experts urge people to remain vigilant as ISIS “still has fighters”.
General Sir Richard Barrons, former commander Joint Forces command – who led the UK Armed Forces until his retirement three years ago – told LBC that his death was a “significant moment in the campaign against ISIS”.
He added that Baghdadi, “was their most iconic leader, and his death is a major blow to that organisation.”
But, the expert added, we “should absolutely in no way think that this is the end of ISIS.
“It’s already a very distributed organisation, that claims something like 10 attacks around the world every day.
“So the death of Baghdadi in Syria is not going to affect what may now happen in the Philippines, or Nigeria, or elsewhere in Syria and Iraq.
“It still remains a powerful and very violent organisation that wishes us all here in the UK serious harm.”
ISIS is a very distributed organisation, that claims something like 10 attacks around the world every day.
General Sir Richard Barrons
US President Donald Trump confirmed on Sunday that Baghdadi ran into a dead-end tunnel and detonated an explosive vest.
This resulted in the ISIS monster killing himself and three of his young children, after being surrounded by specialist Delta forces.
There’s been applause around the globe for the elimination of the terror chief.
But experts are stressing that his militant group, which arose from the remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq after that group’s defeat by US-led forces in 2008, has ambitions to regenerate again.
It remains a dangerous threat in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, warns Chris Costa, ex senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council in the Trump administration.
He said today that while the blowing up of Baghdadi has helped “put the enemy on its heels… [ISIS] is not dead.”
And Republican Mike Rogers, who is on the House Homeland Security Committee, warned: “About 10,000 ISIS fighters remain in the region and will continue to carry out guerrilla attacks and seek new territory.”
Defence officials in Iraq and Afghanistan, who watch ISIS’s movements, told reporters that the group is growing in power and numbers outside of Syria.
Its flagship affiliate is known as ISIS-Khorasan in Afghanistan.
And the group is expanding into other countries, including Pakistan, Tajikistan, Iran, India, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Many of those affiliates have liaisons in the terror group’s hub in eastern Afghanistan, the officials say.
The fight against ISIS isn’t over.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert
The European Union has also hailed the death of Baghdadi in a US-led raid in northwest Syria as a severe blow to the extremist group, also known as Daesh.
But the bloc, too, warned that it remains a major security threat.
EU commission spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, said today: “Daesh continues to represent a major threat. We must remain extremely vigilant to mitigate the risk it poses.”
In Germany, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters that Baghdadi “can’t issue such murderous orders anymore now,” but added that “this doesn’t mean that the fight against [ISIS] is over.”
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His warning was echoed by France’s former President Francois Hollande, who said Baghdadi’s death was “not a fatal blow” against ISIS because it “still has fighters.”
There are fears, too, that ISIS and Al Qaeda will team up to create a global terror giant in the wake of his death.
Trump said an on-site DNA confirmed that Baghdadi was killed in the covert military raid in Syria.
He has suggested that video of his death be released to the public to dissuade his followers.