Last week, ISIS leader and terrorist, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, blew himself and his family up, as US commandos encircled his home.
ISIS has been on the rise these past few months.
They are gaining steam.
They are re-establishing their hold.
They are re-asserting their presence.
They are making gains in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and in many parts of Africa.
Is wasn't too very long ago when ISIS had control of over 38,000 square miles and 12 million people. At the time, they had more than one billion dollars in their treasury.
ISIS remembers those good old days. They want them back.
Targeting al-Qurayshi was an important move in stemming the tide of future ISIS growth.
Striking the leadership of ISIS is neither a political issue nor is it a partisan one.
Every American and every global leader can sleep a little better knowing that Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi is dead. We are safer today because al-Qurayshi took him own life.
It should be made clear that targeting the leader of ISIS was a legal and a justifiable act.
Under international law targeting all ISIS leadership is legal. United States forces can attempt to capture terrorists like al-Qurayshi, or, if that fails, if it's not possible, they can kill terrorists in the process of capturing them.
Fact. Period, end. About that there is no debate.
It's the case with al-Qurayshi just as it was the case in October of 2019, when al-Baghdadi, the previous leader of ISIS, blew himself up rather than be captured. Blowing yourself to smithereens seems to be the defense mechanism of choice for ISIS when capture is imminent.
Taking a page out of the Israeli Defense Forces playbook, the United States removed the element of surprise when they came for the ISIS leader. Because there were so many civilians and non-combatants around al Qurayshi, the United States used helicopters to land commandos and used loudspeakers to warn non-combatants in Arabic to evacuate.
The helicopters appeared to be Black Hawk Helicopters.
This mission was carried out very much in the style of Israel.
Israel regularly warns non-combatants, aka civilians, to evacuate. Because of the warning the "bad guys" were also warned and a two-hour gunfight ensued.
Other terrorists, from other terrorist groups, came to ISIS's aid.
Despite the support of his compatriot terrorists-in-arms, there was no way out for al -Qurayshi. So he detonated the proverbial button and blew himself up.
No doubt alive and interrogated, then tried and convicted, it would have been a bigger win for the United States and the West. But a victory is still a victory. This stands as a triumph.
Let's be clear, the raid against al-Qurayshi was not an act of vengeance by the United States. It was not an act of retaliation for the recent ISIS prison break.
It was not retaliation for any other terror attack. It was what had to be done.
Searching and targeting ISIS leadership is self defense. And self-defense is what makes the targeting of ISIS leadership ethically permissible and legal by all international law.
Bin Ladin, al Baghdadi, al Qurayshi — each and every one of these men was planning to execute future attacks against the United States and its allies in the West.
As President Biden rightly said: "The goal here was to remove Abdullah from the battlefield" and that is a legitimate act of self-defense. Terrorists are real threats to the lives of U.S. citizens and military, as well as to Western allies. How much more so are their leaders.
The ideology they embrace and the activities they pursue center around our destruction.
Joe Biden appropriately explained the situation:
"This operation is a testament to America’s reach and capability to take our terrorist threats, no matter where they try to hide, anywhere in the world."
"I’m determined to protect the American people from terrorist threats, and I’ll take decisive action to protect this country," he said, adding that the U.S. will "continue working with our close allies and partners, the Syrian democratic forces, the Iraqi security forces, including the Kurdish Peshmerga, and more."
Israeli PrimeMinister Naftali Bennett was watching carefully.
He responded immediately saying: "The world is a safer place now that the leader of ISIS has been eliminated. I commend our great ally the United States and the brave American soldiers for executing this daring operation. We must continue the global fight against terror — with strength and determination."
The United States and the West must not, and cannot, and be complacent.
There are many who are chomping at the bit, plotting our downfall. ISIS, Iran, Russia, China, all want the United States to fall, and fall hard.
Only their weapons differentiate between our enemies.
Some use politics, some use terror, some use both.
It does not matter who is president. The role of the president of the United States is, first and foremost, to work to protect the citizens of the United States.
The next threat is out there.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern," a weekly TV program, and "My Chopp," a daily radio spot. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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