The Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia has confirmed the death of its former leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Kurashi. According to an audio message distributed by the jihadists on Thursday, he was killed along with the official IS spokesman, Abu Hamsa.
Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Kurashi was appointed as the new leader. This was in line with the wishes of his predecessor.
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Abu Ibrahim al-Kurashi was killed in a US military operation in northwestern Syria in early February. United States President Joe Biden said at the time that he blew himself up to avoid being held accountable for his actions.
After the death of former IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the fall of 2019, he became the leader of the jihadists. However, little was known about him in public. He is said to have been one of the main perpetrators of the genocide of the Yazidi religious minority in northwestern Iraq.
In the new audio message, IS also announced retaliation for the death of their leader. Initially the authenticity of the message could not be verified. However, it spread through the usual social media channels of the extremists.
For years, the Islamic State had controlled large areas in Iraq and Syria, a neighboring country in civil war. In the summer of 2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a “caliphate” there. In the meantime, the extremists have once again lost their dominance.
In the spring of 2019, Kurdish-led troops captured the last stronghold of the Islamic State in Syria. However, IS cells are still active in both countries. Observers have long been warning of a jihadist resurgence.
Last January, Islamic State fighters attacked a prison in the Kurdish-controlled city of Al-Hassaka in northeastern Syria in a bid to free imprisoned terrorist militia sympathizers.
According to activists, more than 300 people were killed in days of clashes with Kurdish security forces. The attack was one of the most intense by the Islamic State in Syria in years. (dop)