Abdullah Qardash, a former Iraqi officer with a wild reputation, even according to IS standards, must now succeed Al-Baghdadi as the supreme leader of IS
Even when enemy forces invaded the suburbs of the Iraqi city of Mosul at the end of 2016, the rulers of the Islamic State were determined to frighten its inhabitants to the end. Crucified bodies of those who reportedly passed on information to "the enemy" were shown at intersections.
Others were hung on electricity poles and traffic lights in the city while the jihadist religious police patrolled the streets. Two years earlier IS had driven Iraqi troops out of the city and their leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was personally welcomed by his most powerful supporter there – Abdullah Qardash.
Qardash, a former Iraqi officer with a wild reputation, even according to IS standards, must now succeed Al-Baghdadi as the supreme leader of the shattered but far from defeated organization.
Mosul was the power base of Qardash and suffered as much as anywhere else under the brutal IS Sharia law for which he was directly responsible as the group's ultimate chief policy-maker and legislator.
Suspicious homosexuals were thrown out of tall buildings, women accused of adultery were stoned and people who claimed to have blasphemed were beheaded or sent to the head with a bullet.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up after being cornered by American forces in a dead-end underground tunnel in his Syrian compound on Saturday night
Whatever happens to IS, it will certainly not become less bloodthirsty if Qardash is the boss.
A shadowy figure in the organization, he has two nicknames – The Professor and The Destroyer – who neatly summarize the intellectual pretensions and murderous reality of an organization that draws inspiration from the dark ages.
According to a statement attributed to Amaq, IS's news agency, a distressed Al-Baghdadi has appointed him to lead the group's daily activities in August of this year. Qardash was admired by fellow jihadists for his severity and cruelty and was born into a faithful religious family in a town west of Mosul.
He was sent to a religious university in the city and joined the army and became an officer in the Saddam Hussein regime. Many of the tactics that IS used to deal with divergent opinions, such as chopping hands and filming executions, were learned from the Saddam regime in which Qardash was a dedicated enforcer.
Horror: A man accused of homosexuality is thrown from a building by Islamic fanatics in Raqqa, Syria
He was one of the army and intelligence officers in the government of Saddam whose hatred of the West after the 2003 Iraq war led them to join forces with Islamic jihadists.
Qardash, whose age is unknown, was held in detention at Camp Bucca in post-war Iraq because of his ties with Al Qaida.
It was there that he came close to Al-Baghdadi, also held for his Al-Qaeda connections. Qardash was a religious commissioner and sharia judge for the terror group. However, after IS emerged as a splinter group from the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda, he pledged allegiance to the new terror organization.
He served as a cruel enforcer who imposed severe penalties on anyone who dared to oppose the supreme leader. Because the original founders of IS were gradually killed (Al-Baghdadi was the last of them), the importance of Qardash in the group increased. He was soon in charge of coming up with his distorted policy, including mutilation and even execution for the most trivial offenses. In the process he became a respected figurehead of himself in the organization.
After al-Baghdadi was confirmed dead, American troops grabbed every computer, every phone, every piece of paper they could find before they withdrew. The last action was to declare an air strike by American drones, reducing Baghdad & # 39; s hiding place to rubble, wiping it off the face of the earth and covering their tracks
Analysts believe that his popularity in the group was one of the reasons that Al-Baghdadi announced Qardash as his successor.
After the loss of its territory in Syria and Iraq, the Iraqi hardman will have to unite a fragile and unhealthy organization. Thousands of hunters are being imprisoned, tens of thousands of supporters are being held in camps.
But Qardash is perhaps a smart choice as supreme leader. He is close to the former Iraqi officer class, whose knowledge of the huge secret weapons repositories that Saddam built up in the 1980s can quickly prove useful. Just like Al-Baghdadi, he is well versed in Islamic history.
The most important thing, experts say, is that he claims to be a member of the family tree of Iman Hassan, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. According to Islamic tradition, this qualifies him to accept the Caliphate of Islam – the self-proclaimed leader of all Muslims – as Al-Baghdadi claimed five years ago.
No one may assume that the so-called Islamic state has been completed. It has lost its territory and most of its hunters, but it still has a fortune – estimated at several hundred million dollars. Qardash can cause the world as much pain and misery as his murderous predecessor.
Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the so-called Islamic Caliphate, blew himself up during the targeted attack on his army in the province of Idlib in Syria in the early hours of Sunday morning. His army was in a village known for smuggling, and he arrived 48 hours before the raid
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