Mystery about the new ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi
The future of ISIS was shrouded in mystery today after the terrorist group named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as its new leader – but experts said that almost no one knows who he is.
ISIS made the announcement yesterday after the death of the former & # 39; caliph & # 39; Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a raid by the US special forces to have recognized last weekend.
The new name is unknown to terrorists, and the seven-minute message released on Thursday gave little information about him.
Experts believe it may be a pseudonym for a well-known jihadist, but say it can take years before his true identity is revealed to the world.
Elusive: Former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during his only public appearance in 2014. Mystery surrounds the true identity of his replacement Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi
Mystery: Paul Cruickshank of the Combatting Terrorism Center said that very few people would probably know the true identity of the new ISIS leader
ISIS identified his new leader as a scholar, a well-known warrior and & # 39; emir of war & # 39; who fought against American troops and & # 39; his wars & # 39; knows.
The ruling council of the group met shortly after the death of Baghdad and promised their allegiance to the mystery al-Hashimi, they said.
& # 39; Nobody – and I do not mean anyone outside of a likely very small circle within ISIS – has no idea who their new leader is Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, & # 39; said Paul Cruickshank of the Combatting Terrorism Center.
& # 39; The group has not yet released any meaningful biographical information that analysts can use to identify their identity. & # 39;
The use of the name al-Qurayshi seems to be an attempt to trace the lineage of the new leader to the Quraysh tribe of Prophet Muhammad.
Experts have said that belonging to the tribe is seen as a condition for becoming the leader of ISIS.
& # 39; The last part of the name … is actually a claim that the new leader of ISIS has a strong lineage from the tribe of Prophet Muhammad, & # 39; said Cruickshank.
& # 39; In other words, for ISIS, the full viability of their project is based on whether jihadists around the world take this line of origin at first sight. & # 39;
Goal: ISIS was forced to name a new leader after American troops had traced Baghdadi to his compound in Syria (photo) and raided
Wreck: a drone view shows the remains of Baghdad's compound after it was destroyed by US troops who had arrived by helicopter
ISIS leaders often use pseudonyms that refer to their tribal relationship and origin, and those names often change.
Aymenn al-Tamimi, an ISIS expert at Swansea University, said the name was unknown, but could refer to a prominent ISIS figure named Hajj Abdullah.
& # 39; It may be someone we know who may have just adopted this new name, & # 39; said Tamimi.
Hajj Abdullah, also known as Mohamed Said Abdelrahman al-Mawla, was once a prominent figure in the rival Al-Qaida terrorist group in Iraq.
There were also widespread rumors that Abdullah Qardash, a former Baghdadi security guard nicknamed & # 39; The Professor & # 39 ;, stood in line for the top task.
Qardash, a former officer in Saddam Hussein's army, had met Baghdadi in an American prison in Iraq after the American invasion.
Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence monitoring group, said that ISIS would probably not show the face of the new leader in the near future.
& # 39; We expect a message from this new ISIS leader in the near future, & # 39; she said last night.
& # 39; Still, I don't expect ISIS to release video speeches from this new leader (or at least show his face). & # 39;
Rarely seen: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, shown here in an ISIS video message, showed his face no more than four years after he became the leader of the terror group, experts said
Baghdadi was very elusive and has not been seen in public since he himself in 2014 & # 39; caliph & # 39; stated.
He appeared in a video earlier this year in which he spoke about the terror attack on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka in which more than 250 people died.
More recently, he had called on his followers to break ISIS prisoners from the camps where they are being held in Syria.
Aaron Zelin of the Washington Institute said that the identity of Baghdad had been a mystery until his appearance in Mosul in 2014.
& # 39; The first four years of his reign, he (Baghdadi) never showed his face, & # 39; he said.
The death of Baghdad hit ISIS a new blow because it lost its last piece of territory in Syria earlier this year, but the fanatics have sworn revenge. & # 39;
& # 39; We mourn for you … commander of the believers & # 39 ;, said the new ISIS spokesman Abu Hamza al-Quraishi in the message yesterday.
& America, don't you realize that the Islamic state is now at the forefront in Europe and West Africa? It is extended from the east to the west, & said the statement.
Announcement: President Donald Trump during his statement at the White House on Sunday, in which he revealed the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Under surveillance: a hunter with the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led group that pulled ISIS out of its last area earlier this year, watches prisoners on security screens
& # 39; Do not rejoice over America, the new chosen one will make you forget the horror that you have worn … and make the performance of the Baghdadi days taste sweet & # 39 ;.
Supporters of ISIS were also encouraged to heed the latest message from Baghdad, in which he urged his supporters to break prisoners of ISIS from their camps in Syria.
More than 10,000 ISIS prisoners are being held in Syria, while about 70,000 people live in another camp, mostly family members of extremists.
Small units of hunters have gone underground since the ISIS territorial defeat and continued to carry out guerrilla-like attacks in the region.
Baghdadi was generally seen as a figurehead rather than a daily leader and his followers are still capable of attacking.
On Telegram, a messaging service, the Amaq news agency associated with ISIS continued to make claims about attacks in the Middle East after his death.
The speaker in the audio message also confirmed the death of Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, a close assistant to Baghdadi and a spokesperson for the group since 2016.
Al-Muhajir was killed on Sunday in a joint US operation with Kurdish troops, hours after the individual raid that led to the death of Baghdad.
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