ISIS Leader Baghdadi’s Fate Unknown, But How Much Does it Matter?

Analysts Say Baghdadi's Death Wouldn't Change Much

Speculation continues today on the fate of ISIS leader Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was targeted late last week in a US airstrike. Reports are that he was wounded, but there’ve also been claims he was either killed, or not even present during the attack.

The Pentagon, for its part, still says they have no information on what, if anything, happened to Baghdadi, and that they’re still trying to follow up on the reports that the vehicles they attacked, which they figured were an ISIS convoy, might conceivably have included Baghdadi himself.

But does it even matter? There is not much known about how involved Baghdadi is in day-to-day operations across the self-proclaimed caliphate, and at any rate, analysts say, the group’s ideology is much bigger than a single person.

Even if Baghdadi was killed or incapacitated by the US, it is expected that one of his many deputies would take over and little real change would happen. Indeed, some warn, Baghdadi’s successor is liable to be even more aggressive in an effort to prove himself as a worthy leader.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of