Who was ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi?

Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi died after he had lived most of his life: off the grid in the jihadist underworl...


Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi died after he had lived most of his life: off the grid in the jihadist underworld.

Little is known about the Islamic State leader, whose real name is Amir Muhammad Said Abdel-Rahman al-Mawla, or other members of the group’s top command. But his death in a raid by US commandos in Syria on Thursday was a blow for the terror group and a victory for US counterterrorism efforts.

While he was nowhere near as prominent as his predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, died in a similar operation in the United States in 2019“Mr. Qurayshi still commands a great deal of respect within jihadist circles and is known to be very intelligent and able to think strategically,” said Colin P. Clarke, counterterrorism analyst at Soufan Group, a company New York-based security consultancy.

Credit…through the State Department

Mr Clarke said Mr al-Qurayshi kept a low profile, which helped him escape an American-led manhunt but may also have hampered his ability to expand the network world and the hallmark of the Islamic State. In March 2019, ISIS lost the last piece of territory of its so-called caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.

“The compromise has been, it’s a ghost, and not exactly active in inspiring jihadist recruits,” Mr Clarke said.

“The next leader of ISIS could be someone relatively unknown, which will present the United States and its allies with a challenge in terms of intelligence gathering and mapping of its network. But it is also a challenge for the Islamic State, especially if the next leader is not someone whose reputation has nothing to envy to previous jihadist leaders.

Mr. al-Qurayshi, who was 45 and was born in Iraq, was named leader of the Islamic State after Mr. al-Baghdadi died in October 2019 in similar circumstances: detonating a suicide vest while that US forces were raiding his hideout in the Syrian province of Idlib. . Once he took up that torch, the United States put a bounty on his head up to $10 million.

The U.S. government said it “helped lead and justify the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of the Yezidi religious minority in northwestern Iraq and also directed some of the group’s global terrorist operations.” “.

He was captured by US forces in Iraq in early 2008. The date of his release is not known. While in US custody, he appeared cooperative during interrogations and even provided information about other ISIS operatives, according to interrogation reports that were later made public.

A day after his capture, US Army Central Command said operations in Mosul, Iraq had resulted in the capture of “a wanted individual believed to be the deputy head of al-Qaeda in Iraq for the network operating in the city”. He said the man had “previously served as a judge in an illegal justice system involved in ordering and approving kidnappings and executions”.

Previously, Mr. al-Qurayshi had served briefly in the Iraqi army before the fall of Saddam Hussein and had obtained a master’s degree in Islamic studies at the University of Mosul in January 2007. He told interrogators that he had joined the Islamic State in Iraq soon after. .

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Newsrust - US Top News: Who was ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi?
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