Summary of The Man Who Could Have Stopped the Islamic State

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The Man Who Could Have Stopped the Islamic State summary
How did al-Qaeda try and ultimately fail to shape Islamic State’s approach to global jihad?


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How did the arrest of al-Qaeda operative Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi in 2006 help the spread of Islamic State’s brand of jihad? In this compelling article, Facebook counterterrorism policy manager Brian Fishman charts Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi’s history with ISIS founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, explains how the split between al-Qaeda and its former ally developed, and explores the question of how Abd al-Hadi’s arrest may have helped to enable ISIS’s proliferation. getAbstract recommends this article to those with an interest in the roots of contemporary Middle Eastern politics.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the connection between al-Qaeda and ISIS is – or was,
  • How the split between al-Qaeda and ISIS opened up and
  • How al-Qaeda operative Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi’s arrest contributed to al-Qaeda’s failure to “rein in” ISIS.


Acting on an anonymous tip, Turkish police arrested a man calling himself Muhammet Reza Reanjbar Rezaei on October 16, 2006. The man, whom the CIA knew as Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, was a former Iraqi soldier who helped shape Al-Qaeda’s military strategy in Iraq during the 1990s and served as “al-Qaeda’s...
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About the Author

Brian Fishman is lead policy manager of counterterrorism at Facebook and the author of The Master Plan: ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Jihadi Strategy for Final Victory.

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