Islamic State group announces successor to al-Baghdadi
November 1, 2019 - The so-called Islamic State group declared a new leader Thursday after it confirmed the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi days earlier in a U.S. military raid in Syria.
The militant group said a successor, identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, had been appointed.
Aymenn al-Tamimi, a researcher at Swansea University focusing on so-called Islamic State, said the name was unknown but could refer to a leading figure in the jihadist organisation called Hajj Abdullah, whom the U.S. State Department had identified as a possible successor, Reuters said.
A former senior figure in the rival Islamist group Al Qaeda in Iraq, he is also known as Mohamed Said Abdelrahman al-Mawla.
IS also confirmed the death of Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, a close aide of al-Baghdadi and a spokesman for the group since 2016.
Al-Muhajir was killed in a joint U.S. operation with Kurdish forces in Jarabulus in northern Syria on Sunday, hours after al-Baghdadi blew himself up during a U.S. raid in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.
The killings were a double blow to the extremist group, nearly seven months after its territorial defeat in Syria.
The new spokesman, named Abu Hamza al-Quraishi, urged followers to pledge allegiance to the new “caliph” and addressed the Americans, saying: “Don’t rejoice.”
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