On Sunday, U.S. special forces conducted a raid which resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.
The very next day, U.S. special forces reportedly killed the individual who was expected to be his replacement to lead the terror group.
President Trump tweeted: “Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s number one replacement has been terminated by American troops. Most likely would have taken the top spot – Now he is also Dead!”
Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s number one replacement has been terminated by American troops. Most likely would have taken the top spot – Now he is also Dead!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 29, 2019
NBC News reports: “It was not immediately clear whom Trump was referring to, though on Monday a senior State Department official confirmed that ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir had been killed in Syria during an operation by U.S. forces in which the Syrian Democratic Forces also played a large role. Al Muhajir’s death was earlier announced by SDF commander Gen. Mazloum Abdi.”
The Washington Examiner confirmed in a report that al-Muhajir was killed “in an airstrike in Ain al Baydah on Sunday morning.”
Little is known about him, including his real name, nationality, and background.
Syrian Democratic Forces commander Mazloum Kobane announced Muhajir’s death on Twitter, writing, “The mission was conducted via direct coordination of SDF Intel & US military apart the ongiong [sic] ops to hunt ISIS leaders.”
Acc to a sr US official: Pres Trump was referring to follow on raid that took place after Baghdadi operation. US targeted the "ISIS spokesman" that Kurdish SDF leader Gen Mazloum tweeted about two days ago: Abu Hassan al-Muhajir. I am told he was more than a spox, leaves vacuum. https://t.co/K5dOWVrlGn
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) October 29, 2019
This could be the individual Trump was referring to, but other outlets are reporting a different individual was expected to lead ISIS.
The New York Post reports the new terrorist presumed to be in charge of the terror group was Abdullah Qardash, known as “The Destroyer.”
The Daily Mail similarly reported on Monday that ISIS announced Abdullah Qardash to be their new leader.
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.
Neither report notes Qardash’s status or whether he had been killed.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
Trump says US has killed Baghdadi's successor.
Unclear if he's referring to Abu Hassan Al Muhajir, spokesperson killed in northern Syria this week, Abdullah Qardash, reportedly appointed to be his successor, or someone else.https://t.co/bIcUFQAZSX
— Jack Moore (@JFXM) October 29, 2019