The Oasis Reporters
October 28, 2019
The axiom, if you live by violence, you will die by violence came true for the world’s most wanted terrorist, Abu-bakr Baghdadi in North West Syria the night of 26/27 October 2019. Back on 2 May 2012 in Pakistan, another terrorist Osama Bin Laden met a similar fate beautifully executed by American Special Forces.
There is yet another of the kind still in hiding Ayman al Zawahiri an Egyptian who took over the leadership of Al Qaeda upon the death of Saudi born Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden and Al-Baghdadi were extremely violent men. And they have now departed violently.
Just as in the case of Bin Laden, who had Ayman Zawahiri waiting in the wings to assume the leadership of All Qaeda in the event of the death of Bin Laden, you can bet that Baghdadi and the Islamic Caliphate he led must have a succession plan for obvious strategic reasons. And the news just received says that an assumed successor had been equally been struck down in a US Special Forces raid, if the information New York Times has is correct. All terrorists know that the end could come without a warning which is why they live mostly in hiding.
The Islamic Caliphate Al Baghdadi and his co travellers established, and sought to encompass much of Northern Syria and Iraq. The collapse of Iraq after Saddam Hussein and the American military adventure there coupled by the unending military confrontations still ongoing in Syria was a stimulus to the birth of the Caliphate. How Baghdadi thought, he could in the 21st Century coerce the population of those areas to go back to living the lives of medieval Islam is still uncertain but because the population was very largely weather-beaten by the horrors of conflict, some probably just wanted to live in peace without caring who would midwife such a peace. Al Baghdadi’s Islamic Caliphate probably has had the shortest lifespan, that is assuming that the entire idea will fizzle out now that their leader is no more.
It will not be surprising if what is left of the terrorist bunch announces another leader but what chances would such have for reviving the fading dream of the Caliphate? For sure the nooses around the necks of the terrorists wherever they are on the surface of the earth will continue to tighten until their asphyxiation is completed. Let us hope that the world will become a safer place with the elimination of Baghdadi and hopefully some of his right hand lieutenants.
The toxic ideology of the Islamic Caliphate did spread to our own part of the world in the menacing evil called Boko Haram. The Islamic State in West Africa is yet another of such terrorist organizations causing upheavals in the West African region. Our Armed Forces have been doing their best to not only contain but defeat Boko Haram. This effort ought to have been supported by the other military powers particularly the Americans but they have largely (in my humble view), looked the other way.
There is no difference between either Osama Bin Laden, Baghdadi and the Boko Haram leaders Abubakar Shekau and Abu- Musab al- Barnawi. One terrorist is as bad as another.
A vital question is raised here, why are the Americans looking the other way? Our security forces may obviously be handicapped in many ways, but they have given a good account of themselves. At first I did not see any sense in P journeying to the Russian resort of Sochi recently but the news that the Russians did agree to sell 10 MI-35 helicopters to Nigeria, gladdened my heart and many of our country men/women too. These machines will surely boost the counter insurgency campaign in the North West. They will also come in handy in confronting and defeating the kidnapping groups operating with impunity all over the places.
The American Special Forces who undertook the hazardous exercise of smoking out Baghdadi did a wonderful job worthy of commendation the world over. For the sovereignty of any nation to be guarded and protected, there can be no alternative to building and equipping the security forces of such a nation. Without such a capacity, the Americans would simply have been observers. The nations which contributed in many ways to the success of the operation did well. In the fight against Boko Haram, Nigeria does require the cooperation of our neighbours as well as other well – meaning nations.
Written by Col. Gora Dauda (rtd).
He writes from Kaduna, North West Nigeria.