Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was the leader of a group called the Islamic State. The group attacked lots of people around the world, and several countries have come together to fight them. This past weekend, al-Baghdadi died when soldiers raided his home in Syria.
The History of ISIS
The Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is a terrorist group. It began in 1999, but became big news in 2014 when it pushed the Iraqi military out of Western Iraq and took over the area. The United Nations named ISIS a terrorist group, meaning it uses violence to control people through fear. ISIS is well known for capturing and killing people – often journalists, aid workers, and people on vacation – and recording it on video to share with the world.
The United States and several other nations across the world have been fighting ISIS since 2014.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
In 2014, al-Baghdadi announced his caliphate (an Islamic state) and promised to dissolve all boundaries in the Middle East. This means he declared the entire Middle East to be one Islamic state with him as the caliph, or leader. He managed to gain tens of thousands of followers all over the world.
But once the U.S. got involved in the fight, things began to go badly for al-Baghdadi and his group. ISIS has lost a lot of territory in the fight, including its two biggest strongholds in Iraq and Syria. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been on the run ever since.
The End? Not Quite
ISIS was already losing the war, and al-Baghdadi’s death really hurt the group. On the other hand, the ISIS fighters are still holding on to what land they have left. While it has been said that the caliphate is gone, ISIS is still a threat.