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Orginally published by Boston Globe
BEIRUT — Islamic State leaders had long promised their followers an apocalyptic battle — foretold, some believe, by the Prophet Mohammed — in an otherwise nondescript village they controlled in northern Syria.
Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, the senior Islamic State strategist killed in an August airstrike, had vowed that the group could outlive any single leader. As Kyle W. Orton, a fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, a research institute in London, wrote on Twitter, “The real problem is: What if he’s right?”
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