Islamic State’s (IS) leadership is under siege as infighting and discontent among the various arms and components of the terror organization spew into the media. The wrangles within the terror organization are threatening the fall out of the most lethal terrorist organization in modern history. In what is being termed by analysts as the beginning of the end of the close-knitly governed and operated global terror organization. In recent months, intelligence reports have been reporting heightened tension and possible infighting within the primary leadership of IS. The same has since been confirmed after a series of damning articles written by Islamic State’s prolific religious leader, Ibn Jubayr leveling direct and unprecedented criticism at the militant group’s leadership.
In an unusually uncharacteristic breach of the absolute obedience culture purported by IS, Ibn Jubayr posted a series of five scathing articles that fearlessly criticize the current leadership of Caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the inner circle of the group’s leadership. The articles were published on the Al-Nasihah channel on Telegram, the heavily encrypted phone messaging and social networking application used by IS supporters to communicate with each other.
Ibn Jubayr is believed to be a member of a nonconformist circle of IS scholars and clerics, who have been shelved by power skirmishes and are disgruntled with the leadership. They are especially angry at the dominion of the upper ranks of the terror group by Iraqis. The scholars belong to ISIS’ Bureau of Studies and Research, which is in charge of issuing religious rulings that have locked horns with the organization’s leadership of several high-profile religious rulings.
In the derisive articles, Ibn Jubayr appears to accuse several top-level members the executive committee may very well have shoved Baghdadi out of crucial decision-making relegating him to a ceremonial caliph. The lack of assertiveness and authoritative nature of Baghdadi as triggered a campaign that seeks to ouster and replace him in order to keep the organization intact. The aggrieved faction of IS decries Iraqi leaders for ensuring that their countrymen maintain positions of power within IS, a policy of “Iraqization” of the global organization. The said policy ensures that positions of administration and control throughout the Islamic State are held exclusively by Iraqis, while everybody else simply carries out their directives and is subject to only their orders.
The displeasure has since trickled down to foot soldiers who have threatened to split or defect to other terror outfits as they feel like the core agenda of ISIS has deviated to serve a few Iraqi leaders popularly dubbed as the Iraq Mafia. The wrangles and criticism of central leadership can be traced to the mounting pressure by military operations both in Iraq and Syria that has since limited its significant presence in remote and rugged areas along the Syrian-Iraqi border. The public spats are evidence that as earlier reported, the Islamic State is in its culmination days and is on the verge of being totally defeated in the Middle East in one of the most deadly wars of modern history.