ISIS names new leader after Baghdadi eliminated

ISIS announces its new leader is Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.

Elad Benari,

ISIS
ISIS
Reuters

The Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization on Thursday confirmed the death of former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and named his replacement.

In the recording, published on the group's media wing al-Furqan, ISIS announced its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, reported CNN.

Baghdadi was eliminated during an American commando raid on his compound in northern Syria over the weekend.

Thursday's message was voiced by ISIS' new spokesman Abu Hamza al-Qarshi, according to CNN. He replaces former spokesman Abu Hasan al-Muhajir, who was killed in a separate operation by US forces near Jarablus in northern Syria.

"America, do not be happy with the killing of Sheikh al-Baghdadi," the new spokesman said in the recording. "Do you not realize that the State today is not only on the doorstep of Europe and in the center of Africa, it is staying and expanding from the east to the west."

The Pentagon on Wednesday released newly declassified video and images of the raid which showed US forces taking small arms fire from multiple locations as their helicopters approached Baghdadi's compound.

Video from an overhead drone also showed aerial strikes carried out by US F-15 fighter jets and MQ-9 Reaper Drones to blow up the site once it was cleared.

Baghdadi’s death followed years of conflicting reports about his fate. A year ago, it was reported that he was still alive, but that injury and poor health had forced him to relinquish control of the terror group.

In 2017, Russia claimed that the ISIS leader might have been among a group of ISIS members who were killed in a Russian air strike south of Raqqa, the group’s former de facto capital in Syria.

US officials have remained skeptical over reports of Baghdadi’s death. Former US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in July of 2017 he assumes that Baghdadi is still alive.




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