Kill or Capture: Washington’s New ISIS Plan Claims Two

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Media Outlet: Foreign Policy

Barak Barfi was quoted in Foreign Policy about the killing of a top ISIS militant:

On Tuesday, the Pentagon confirmed a March 4 strike in Syria killed Abu Omar al-Shishani — also known as Omar the Chechen. Shishani had been a major figure in the Islamic State’s military command and was often described as the group’s “minister of war.”
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The killing of Shishani “is huge,” said New America Foundation research fellow Barak Barfi, who has interviewed numerous Islamic State defectors. “He has been made the public face of ISIS’s foreign fighters, and the foreign fighters really identified with him.”
While a respected military leader — as a onetime member of the Georgian army, he reportedly received some training from U.S. Special Forces — Shishani also displayed another trait so important to groups like the Islamic State: He had charisma and a connection with his troops, Barfi said, adding: “That’s an intangible that can’t be replaced.”

In the News:

Barak Barfi is a research fellow at New America, where he specializes in Arab and Islamic Affairs. Previously, Barak was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.