International RelationsInternational Conflict

Top Islamic State Leader Killed During U.S. Raid

Posted on in International Relations · International Conflict

On October 26, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed during a nighttime raid by U.S. special forces. He was the leader of the jihadist group known as the Islamic state and was wanted for crimes of genocide, extortion and kidnapping by the international community. At its peak, the Islamic State under al-Baghdadi controlled areas from eastern Syria to western Iraq. They brutalized the people living in the region based on an extreme interpretation of Islamic law.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Top Islamic State Leader Killed During U.S. Raid


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  • Writing: Under al-Baghdadi’s leadership, the Islamic State grew into one of the most brutal militant groups in the Middle East. Describe the historic events that led to the rise of the IS and include the extremist ideology that it supports. 
  • Debate: The death of al-Baghdadi is mostly symbolic. The Islamic State is still a threat to regional and world peace.
  • Poll: Should the U.S. push its military advantage in IS-controlled-territory now that their leader has been killed?
  • Short Answer: What does the death of al-Baghdadi mean for the Islamic State moving forward?

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