As the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continues its insurgency in Iraq, some of its leaders could become targets of kill missions, much like those using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or special operations forces. The finding was announced as Iraq continued to struggle with replacing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
According to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, high-ranking members of ISIS, which used to be called al-Qaeda in Iraq and is also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a terrorist group once lead by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, are being placed on a “kill list.” The group’s current leader, Ibrahim ibn Awwad ibn Ibrahim Ali ibn Muhammad al Badri al Hashimi al Husayni al Qurashi, also known as Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, had been held by the United States until he was released in 2009.
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi may be a hard target to locate. “Baghdadi is very aware of the threat to him personally from a U.S. drone strike and he is smart enough to command through limited use of electronic comms,” retired lieutenant general Jerry Boykin told the Washington Free Beacon.
In the past, the United States has made an effort to kill a number of terrorists. One of the more common methods used to kill terrorists has been the use of UAVs, also called drones, like the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-5 Hunter, and MQ-9 Reaper. In most cases, the drones use the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, a laser-guided weapon which has a range of about five miles, and carries a 20-pound high-explosive warhead.
Among those killed in these UAV strikes include Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric who was high-ranking member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as well as two commanders of the Pakistani Taliban, a terrorist organization that was responsible for the shooting of Malala Yousefzai, a teenager who advocated for the education of women and girls, and Abu Omar al Hashimi al Qurashi al Baghdadi, a former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.