November 4, 2019 | From PJ Media
Islamic State (ISIS) caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead, killed by an American airstrike in northwest Syria. President Trump announced this morning: “U.S. Special operations forces executed a dangerous and daring night-time raid in northwestern Syria, and accomplished their mission in grand style. The U.S. personnel were incredible.”
But the question now should not be avoided: why was al-Baghdadi hiding so close to Turkey? Were the Turks protecting him? If not them, then who was?
It strains credulity that Turkey, with its interests in northern Syria, did not know he was there. Al-Baghdadi was killed in Barisha in the Idlib province, a town of no more than 2500 people right on the Turkish border. If the Turks didn’t know that the world’s most wanted terrorist was there, they’re incompetent beyond measure. If they did know, they’re complicit in protecting him.
Given the track record of the Turkish government in aiding the Islamic State, complicity is much more likely than cluelessness. There ought to be a full investigation of Turkey’s involvement, and if the Erdogan regime is definitively found to have been protecting al-Baghdadi, Turkey should be expelled from NATO and the sham alliance with the United States ended. Given, however, the determined head-in-the-sand policy of the State Department establishment, none of that is likely to happen.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State is likely to go on pretty much as it has for the last year or two, after losing almost all of the area of its former caliphate in Iraq and Syria. If al-Baghdadi has a successor, he will be, like al-Baghdadi himself, a caliph without a caliphate. The Islamic State is still very much a presence around the world, but doesn’t control any significant expanse of territory, as it did when Barack Obama was President.
And so the key question worth pondering in the wake of al-Baghdadi’s likely death is this: what took so long, and why? How did this most hunted of man survive for so long? It seems clear that there were powerful Muslim individuals and groups that were protecting him. Who were they? Was Recep Tayyip Erdogan among them?
The fact of this protection is obvious; the cause of it is once again the fact that the Islamic State was and is not implementing some twisted and hijacked version of Islam, but can make a strong case from the Qur’an and Sunnah to justify what they do. While not all Muslims supported al-Baghdadi and ISIS, Muslims supported them in sufficient numbers to make it the richest and most powerful jihad terror group in the world, and to keep al-Baghdadi alive for months after the Islamic State was driven out of its territory in Iraq and Syria. . . .
(Excerpt from PJ Media. Article by Robert Spencer.)