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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Why is it so difficult to track down IS leader?

In The News, 1 May 2019
Middle East and North Africa
"He learned a lot on how to operate from Saddam's former intelligence officials," says Michael Stephens, a Middle East expert with the London-based think-tank Royal United Services Institute (Rusi). "His operational security is excellent," he adds, "partly because of his excessive paranoia". Where is he hiding now? Almost certainly still in the Iraq-Syria border area, says Stephens. "He'll be able to take advantage of established smuggling networks across that border," he says, "using money to pay his way amongst the tribes there".

In The News

Michael Stephens
Research Fellow for Middle East Studies

Michael Stephens is the Research Fellow for Middle East Studies and Head of RUSI Qatar. He joined RUSI’s London office in September... read more