President Obama seized every possible opportunity to tout that his administration killed Osama bin Laden – but in the same breath, he would erroneously declare that al-Qaeda without its storied figurehead was foundering, decimated and just a shell of the threat it used to be.
As the campaigns to retake Mosul and Raqqa, respectively led by Iraqi forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces, have made impressive gains against the Islamic State, self-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will eventually meet his maker like bin Laden. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told France24 that Baghdadi is isolated with few confidantes left, and they’re tracking his movements. It’s just a matter of time.
Sure, in his recent address Baghdadi told his forces in Mosul to valiantly hold the line, to not squabble amongst themselves and be good jihadists. But he also acted like a homeowner facing foreclosure who rationalizes he never much liked that neighborhood anyway.