ISIS announces new leader after terrorist chief killed in battle

Abu Al Hussain Al Hussaini Al Qurashi takes on role but no information is given about his true identity

US soldiers and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) take part in military exercises at Dayrik town, close to the tri-border between Syria, Iraq, and Turkey in north-eastern Syria, in September.  EPA
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ISIS announced a new leader on Wednesday after its chief was killed in battle, but provided little information on the background of the man who will now lead the terrorist group.

The organisation said Abu Al Hassan Al Hashimi Al Qurashi had been killed in action, and declared Abu Al Hussain Al Hussaini Al Qurashi as its new leader.

“The organisation decided to pledge allegiance to Abu Al Hussein Al Husseini Al Qurashi as the new caliph,” the group's spokesman said in an audio recording.

The audio released on ISIS's media accounts also confirmed the death of the group’s previous leader.

The spokesman said Al Hashimi, an Iraqi, was killed “in combat with enemies of God”, without elaborating on the date of his death or the circumstances.

US Central Command, or Centcom, said on Wednesday that the death was "another blow to ISIS".

"ISIS remains a threat to the region. Centcom and our partners remain focused on the enduring defeat of ISIS," it said.

Al Qurashi will rule a terrorist group that is a shadow of its former self in terms of power and members.

It continues to cause havoc in Syria, Iraq and some parts of Africa, but it has not been able to regain the full force it had in 2014 when it took over large areas of Syria and Iraq.

“As usual, ISIS doesn’t offer information about the identity of its new 'caliph', apart from giving his nom de guerre and saying he’s a veteran jihadist,” said Mina Al Lami, a security analyst and BBC expert on extremist messages, who has been following the group for years.

Last month, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a shrine in the Iranian city of Shiraz.

The gun attack at the Shiite shrine killed 15 people and wounded dozens, authorities said, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi promised that the shooting would not go unanswered.

The group has claimed previous attacks in Iran, including deadly twin bombings in 2017 at Iran's Parliament and the tomb of its founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Updated: November 30, 2022, 8:25 PM
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