US knows new Daesh/ISIS leader, says Trump

WASHINGTON: The U.S. has identifying information on the man who succeeded former Daesh/ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after he was killed by U.S. forces, President Donald Trump said Friday. 

“ISIS has a new leader. We know exactly who he is!” Trump said on Twitter using another name for the Daesh terrorist organization.

Daesh/ISIS confirmed al-Baghdadi’s death on Thursday, naming Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as its new leader, according to a statement distributed by al-Furqan, the group’s media wing.

Little information is publicly available on al-Qurayshi, and the name itself appears to be a kunya, or nom de guerre.

Under Baghdadi, Daesh spread over wide segments of Iraq and Syria beginning in 2013, eventually claiming the formation of a “caliphate” in the region as it plotted and carried out gruesome attacks that reached far beyond its main territorial bastion. It further set up local affiliates in other regions as it released heinous execution videos on to the internet.

Baghdadi had been a top target for both the Trump and Obama administrations, and had a $25 million bounty placed on his head.

As the U.S.-led coalition took back territories once under the terror group’s hold, Baghdadi increasingly stayed in the shadows, only rarely releasing pre-recorded audio messages to his followers.

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