President Trump’s triumphant announcement of the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is being considered by many as a death blow delivered to the non-state actor that terrorised Iraq, Syria and beyond. Defeats in Mosul, Raqqa and most recently in Baghouz in March for IS have entailed that the group is a shadow of its former self; hopefully the days of public beheadings, executions and many other travesties are now long gone.

But in no way does al-Baghdadi’s death imply the end of the Islamic State as a terrorist group. IS is a step ahead in many ways compared to the other terrorist groups globally, one of its main skills and a major reason for its successful recruitment drive across the world was its tech-savvy approach to terrorism and the use of digital media to its advantage. Its formidable presence online still remains a problem – in order to fully dismantle the group’s financial and recruitment channels, controlling the group’s activity on the ungovernable dark web will be needed in order to ensure that the many global chapters of the organisation are prevented from carrying out terrorist attacks.

This brings us on to the second issue that prevents the IS from completely becoming defunct; its expansive network. IS’ digital strategy has ensured it has chapters all over the world, with its Afghan chapter already attempting to make inroads into the country. These various ‘franchises’ must also be shut down if the international community really wants an end to IS.

But the biggest problem will always be eradicating the IS ideology in its entirety. Lone attackers following the IS ideology have wreaked havoc in separate terrorist incidents all over the world. The only way to fight this is to improve the counter-narrative and deradicalisation tactics. Al-Baghdadi is dead but the way he structured his organisation all but ensured that he would not become the cult of personality like Osama Bin Laden or others in his position. It is hoped that the international community makes sure that his death was truly the final nail in IS’ coffin.