Islamic State Confirms Death of al-Baghdadi; Names New Caliph

Bloomberg/October 31, 2019

By Samer Al-Atrush

Islamic State named a new leader to succeed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who was killed during an American military raid in Syria, and threatened to retaliate against the U.S.

In an audio statement published on its social media accounts, the terrorist group confirmed the death of Baghdadi. It said the new leader, Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurashi, will also assume the title of “caliph,” indicating that it still plans to establish an Islamic state.

The statement, read by IS spokesman Abu Hamza al Qurashi, contained threats against America and referred to President Donald Trump as a “senile old man.”

It also warned that what’s to come will be worse by comparison to the days of the group under Baghdadi’s leadership.

Islamic State’s rules stipulate that its leader must be a religious scholar and a descendant of Prophet Muhammad’s tribe.

Baghdadi Death Eliminates Islamic State Chief But Not the Group

The Pentagon on Wednesday released video footage of the weekend raid that led to the death of Baghdadi, including attacks on fighters from the area surrounding the compound where the terrorist leader was hiding.

Al-Baghdadi was the highest-ranking terrorist leader targeted by U.S. forces since al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011 in a raid in Pakistan during the Obama administration. The military held a Muslim ceremony before disposing of his body at sea “in a weighted bag,” the Pentagon announced at the time.

— With assistance by Souhail Karam

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