Decentralization of Powers Weakens IS

According to some sources, the security team surrounding Baghdadi is planning on making things more complicated and resorting to further camouflage to cover his movements. Moreover, Baghdadi does not circulate with large convoys; he is only accompanied by two of his most loyal associates, who, according to Hashemi, are Abu Talha al-Libi and Abu Miqdad al-Yemeni. “The organization of the movement and the accompanying communications and changing plans are of the responsibility of Baghdadi's brother, whose name is likely to be Jumaa Awad al-Badri,” a source said.

Baghdadi’s loss of a group of the most important leaders and the restriction of his scope of movement are two factors that forced him to rely on the figures who are not known to be in the leadership of the organization. Baghdadi was forced to delegate many of his powers to IS field commanders. This has given rise to differences within the organization. According to sources close to him, these differences will set the stage for internal cracks in the organization.

The decision-making decentralization in IS is not new. It is part of the nature of the organization, especially during its secretive work and its adoption of the landline communication between its members and leaders. However, the situation has changed, as IS has managed to occupy large areas and key cities such as Mosul, Tikrit, Fallujah, Qaim and hundreds of surrounding villages. This expansion requires a different management system and a clear relationship at the level of responsibilities, not only in terms of battle leadership but also in terms of the civilian life management in those towns and villages.

Witnesses from Mosul said to Al-Monitor that the management efficiency of the IS leaders varies from one neighborhood to another, as all the leaders are now somehow directly responsible for the areas they administer. Each and every leader in IS is now in charge of the affairs of the area under their control and it is they who have to solve their problems and distribute the spoils of war away from the organization’s leadership.

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