01 May 2019

Predictions

Video of Islamic State leader confirms strategic shift to insurgency and will help group maintain international support despite loss of caliphate territories

Direct call for attacks will increase risk of both sympathiser and directed strikes in coming six weeks

France and Saudi Arabia will be priority targets having been named by al-Baghdadi, while Egypt and Russia are more likely locations for complex operations

Analysis

Islamic State’s (IS) leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, appeared in a video released by the group’s al-Furqan media network on 29 April. Seemingly in good health, al-Baghdadi acknowledged the recent loss of IS’s last pocket of territory, the Syrian town of Baghouz, which US-backed Kurdish fighters captured on……..

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