The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, know commonly as ISIS, has announced Abdullah Qardash as their new leader.
The announcement comes after President Trump green-lit a group of U.S. Special Forces to take out their former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a raid over the weekend.
Daily Mail reports Qardash is nicknamed “The Professor” or “The Destroyer” to reflect his brutal record as an enforcer and chief policymaker for ISIS. He also served as Saddam Hussein’s military officer.
The report adds:
Qardash – also known as Hajji Abdullah al-Afari – was born in Tal Afar, a Sunni-majority town in Iraq – before joining the military while Saddam Hussein ruled the country.
Following the invasion of Iraq by the US in 2003 and President Bush’s move to disband the country’s military, he found himself locked in jail accused of having links to al-Qaeda.
Languishing in a cell at Camp Bucca, Qardash formed a close bond with Baghdadi, who was then fomenting the extremist religious code that would provide the ideological grounding for the death cult that became ISIS.
After his release Qardash served as a religious commissar and a general sharia judge for al-Qaeda, according to researchers at the S. Rajartnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
After serving in Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, Qardash reportedly switched allegiances to ISIS as it rose as a splinter group. The move put Qardash in the position of al-Baghdadi’s enforcer and confidant.
NEW: Pres. Trump says he is considering releasing "certain parts" of the video of the U.S. raid in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died over the weekend. https://t.co/SNg7HkmZuE pic.twitter.com/jtaZzI2KoJ
— ABC News (@ABC) October 28, 2019
Here’s more from Daily Mail:
On August 7 this year Amaq announced that Qardash had taken over day-to-day running of the terror group, while Baghdadi concentrated on drumming up religious fervour in the group’s aims.
With news of Baghdadi’s death, Qardash is in nominal charge of the terror group – however the exact extent of his reach and control is unknown.
Following the territorial defeat of the terror group, it is now split into cells spread across at least two countries operating largely independently of each-other.
Leadership is said to be split between three factions largely along ethnic lines, with Tunisian, Saudi and Iraqi leaders vying for control.
He is understood to have already taken over a number of duties from al-Baghdadi prior to his demise this week when he detonated a suicide vest.
President Trump has not yet responded to the announcement, but praised the U.S. for killing the “long-sought ISIS murderer Al-Baghdadi.”
The S&P just hit an ALL TIME HIGH. This is a big win for jobs, 401-K’s, and, frankly, EVERYONE! Our Country is doing great. Even killed long sought ISIS murderer, Al-Baghdadi. We are stronger than ever before, with GREAT upward potential. Enjoy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2019