The Islamic State has vowed to revenge the death of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a weekend raid by U.S. special forces in northwestern Syria.
The group, who vowed to revenge against the United State, confirmed his death in an audiotape posted online and said a successor, identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, had been appointed.
An Islamic State spokesman warned the United States in the tape to “beware vengeance (against) their nation and their brethren of infidels and apostates”.
Baghdadi’s death is likely to cause Islamic State to splinter, leaving whoever emerges as its new leader with the task of pulling the group back together as a fighting force, according to analysts.
Whether the loss of its leader will in itself affect the group’s capabilities is open to debate. Even if it does face difficulties in the transition, the underlying ideology and the sectarian hatred it promoted remain attractive to many, analysts say.