Islamic State Prepared for Life without Its Leader
The United States is promising there will be no easing of its offensive against the Islamic State after the death of the group's leader.
U.S. officials say Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed as part of a "dangerous" nighttime raid in northern Syria.
Baghdadi took command of the group formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq in 2010. The Islamic State (IS) is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Baghdadi died "whimpering and crying" in a dead-end tunnel. His death shows America's "commitment to the...defeat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations," the president said.
"We know the successors," he added. "And we already have them in our sights."
Efforts to find them may be helped by the raid on Baghdadi's camp in the Syrian province of Idlib. The raid led to the capture of a small number of Islamic State group officials and fighters.
Trump said U.S. forces found "highly sensitive material and information... much having to do with ISIS, origins, future plans, things that we very much want."
That information may have led to the death of Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, a spokesman for the group. The commander of the U.S.-supported Syrian Democratic Forces reported Sunday that he was targeted and killed in an operation in northern Syria.
U.S. officials have yet to confirm reports of his death.
Islamic State: an adaptive, potent terror group
Military and intelligence officials admit that finding and killing IS operatives has not been effective enough to stop the group. It has, however, severely limited its ability to strike at targets.
At one point, in late 2015, officials said airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition were killing one mid-level or senior-level IS leader every two days.
U.S. anti-terrorism officials later described some of those strikes as "significant blows."
Yet, IS continues its campaign of terror, even as its self-declared caliphate collapsed. As the Syrian city of Idlib fell to coalition forces, the group's leadership worked to create an active and growing resistance force.
"ISIS is working (toward) an insurgency in Syria and Iraq" that is made of different groups in both countries, a U.S. official recently told VOA.
"The group is using these (groups) to undermine local governance and reconstruction efforts," said the official, who added that IS creates ethnic and religious divisions to fuel unrest.
Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper describes the operation that killed Baghdadi as important because of its symbolic value. But he added that Baghdadi's death alone will not destroy the terror group.
"ISIS has been more de-centralized and has groomed leaders for just this eventuality," Clapper told VOA.
Terrorism experts say there is growing evidence that suggests strikes like the one that killed Baghdadi are rarely death blows.
"The death of a jihadist leader is always a dangerous moment for the group as it can lead to internal struggles," said Michael Horowitz. He is head of intelligence for Le Beck, a Middle East-based security company.
"[Al-Qaida leader Osama] bin Laden was replaced by his former number two, [Ayman] al-Zawahiri," he said, adding that the al-Qaida leader is still powerful.
Recent intelligence from the U.S. and other countries suggests Islamic State will easily survive without Baghdadi. While the group has lost its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, it still had an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 thousand fighters across those countries. Officials also believe it still has a lot of money, possibly up to $300 million.
And U.S. officials say IS has many of its trained fighters, moving them underground as it lost its Syrian base to U.S.-backed forces.
"The group has tens of thousands of seasoned fighters and hundreds of leaders who have survived decades of war," said Bill Roggio. He is with the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
U.S. officials have warned that IS has built itself in such a way that the loss of its caliphate had less effect on the group than many believed.
"The so-called ISIS caliphate has been destroyed, but the ISIS (name) lives on around the world," State Department Counterterrorism coordinator Nathan Sales said in August.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.internal struggles 内斗
We must shine the light of inquiry on our internal struggles, because this is the only place we can really create change.
2.terror group 恐怖组织
The United States and other nations also say Jemaah Islamiah is linked to the terror group.
3.up to 高达；直到
Up to that time he have be stayed with his uncle.
4.decades of 几十年
This is what we have learned from decades of development.
5."The so-called ISIS caliphate has been destroyed, but the ISIS (name) lives on around the world," State Department Counterterrorism coordinator Nathan Sales said in August.
around the world 世界各地
Through English, we know about what happen all around the world.
About one million workers around the world joined in the strike.
6."The group has tens of thousands of seasoned fighters and hundreds of leaders who have survived decades of war," said Bill Roggio.
tens of thousands of 数万的
Tens of thousands of Canadians have written to me in recent weeks to wish me well.
This is why we recently signed a landmark trade agreement with South Korea that will support tens of thousands of American jobs.
2010年，巴格达迪接管了当时被称为“伊拉克基地组织” 。“伊斯兰国”组织也被称为“伊拉克和大叙利亚伊斯兰国”（ISIS） 。
美国总统特朗普周日宣布，巴格达迪在一条死胡同里“呜咽和哭泣”着死亡 。特朗普表示，巴格达迪死亡表明美国“致力于击溃ISIS和其他恐怖组织” 。
“我们了解接任人，”他补充说 。“他们已经在我们的监视之下了 。”
对叙利亚伊德利卜省巴格达迪营地的突袭可能有助于发现他们 。这次突袭行动抓获了“伊斯兰国”组织的一小部分官员和武装分子 。
这些信息可能导致了该组织发言人阿布·哈桑·穆哈伊尔(Abu Hassan al-Muhajir)的死亡 。美国支持的叙利亚民主力量指挥官周日报告称，穆哈伊尔在叙利亚北部的一次行动中成为袭击目标并被击毙 。
军方和情报官员承认，抓获并击毙“伊斯兰国”成员并不能有效地阻止该组织 。然而，却可以严重限制其打击目标的能力 。
然而，即使“伊斯兰国”自封的“哈里发”政权已经崩溃，但却仍在继续其恐怖活动 。随着叙利亚城市伊德利卜落入联军之手，该组织的领导层致力于建立一支活跃且不断壮大的抵抗武装力量 。
该官员表示：“‘伊斯兰国’组织利用这些组织破坏地方治理和重建工作 。”他还指出，伊斯兰国制造种族和宗教分裂，以加剧动乱 。
前美国国家情报总监詹姆斯·克拉珀（James Clapper）认为，击毙巴格达迪的行动之所以重要，是因为它具有象征意义 。但他补充说，巴格达迪死亡并不能摧毁这一恐怖组织 。
“圣战头目的死亡对该组织来说总是一个危机时刻，因为这可能引发内斗，”迈克尔·霍洛维茨(Michael Horowitz)说道 。他是中东安全公司Le Beck的情报主管 。
他说：“本·拉登被曾经的二把手扎瓦希里取而代之 。”他还说，基地组织头目的权力仍然很大 。
最近来自美国和其他国家的情报显示，没有巴格达迪，“伊斯兰国”组织也会很容易生存 。尽管该组织位于叙利亚和伊拉克的“哈里发”政权崩溃，但预计这些国家仍残留着约1万至1.5万名武装分子 。官员们还认为，该组织仍掌握着大量资金，可能高达3亿美元 。
“该组织有数万名经验丰富的武装分子以及数百名经历了数十年战争的领导人，”比尔·罗吉奥(Bill Roggio)说道 。他就职于总部位于华盛顿的捍卫民主基金会 。