Small Wars Journal

Islamic State Leader Goes Low-Tech to Evade Capture

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 8:01am

Islamic State Leader Goes Low-Tech to Evade Capture by Isabel Coles and Ghassan Adnan – Wall Street Journal

Despite the fall of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate, the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, remains at large, having for years evaded a massive manhunt by America’s military and intelligence agencies.


The 47-year-old jihadist, whose call to arms drew thousands of Muslims from around the world to battlefields in Syria and Iraq, is believed to be hiding in a remote stretch of desert that straddles the border between the two countries, according to Iraqi security officials.


To elude capture, Mr. Baghdadi, who has a $25 million bounty on his head, has gone low tech, Iraqi officials say, shunning trackable communications devices, moving in a single vehicle to avoid attention and trusting only a small circle of close aides.


“He doesn’t use a mobile phone or a computer,” said Saeed al-Jayashi, an Iraqi security expert with ties to the government. “He uses only human beings like his aides to convey orders and instructions. Therefore, it is very difficult to track him.”…

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