IS confirms death of group’s leader, Al-Baghdadi – Reports

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [Photo: BBC]
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [Photo: BBC]

The Islamic State terrorist group (IS) has confirmed the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, media reported Tuesday, citing an IS statement.

According to the Al Sumaria News broadcaster, Al-Baghdadi is dead and his successor will be named soon.

On June 16, the Russian Defence Ministry said Al-Baghdadi was likely eliminated as a result of a Russian Aerospace Forces strike on a militant command post in the southern suburb of the city of Raqqa in late May.

The ministry noted that it was in the process of confirming the information through various channels.

Al-Baghdadi appeared in the media for the first time in 2014 when he declared the creation of a caliphate in the Middle East.

Since then, media outlets reported the death of the IS leader several times, but the reports were never confirmed.

A report on NAN on June 23 quoted experts as saying that if Al-Baghdadi was confirmed dead, he would likely be succeeded by one of his top two lieutenants: Iyad Al-Obaidi and Ayad Al-Jumaili.

Both were army officers under late Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.

Experts on Islamist groups said they see no clear successor but regard Al-Obaidi and Al-Jumaili as the leading contenders, though neither would be likely to assume Baghdadi’s title of “caliph” or overall commander of Muslims.

Armed groups fighting in the region and U.S. officials say they have no evidence he is dead and many regional officials are skeptical about the reports of his death.

Obaidi, who is in his 50s, has been serving as war minister.

Jumaili, who is in his late 40s, is head of the group’s Amniya security agency.

In April Iraqi state TV said Jumaili had been killed, but that was not confirmed.

Both joined the Sunni Salafist insurgency in Iraq in 2003, following the U.S.-led invasion which Saddam and empowered Iraq’s Shi’ite majority.

They have been Baghdadi’s top aides since airstrikes in 2016 killed his then deputy Abu Ali al-Anbari, his Chechen war minister Abu Al-Shishani and his Syrian chief propagandist, Abu Al-Adnani.

“Jumaili recognises Obaidi as his senior but there is no clear successor and, depending on conditions, it can be either of the two (who succeeds Baghdadi),” said Hisham Al-Hashimi, who advises several Middle East governments on IS affairs.

Baghdadi awarded himself the title of caliph, the chief Muslim civil and religious ruler, regarded as the successor of the Prophet Mohammad, in 2014.

Obaidi or Jumaili would be unlikely to become caliph because they lack religious standing and Islamic State has lost much of its territory.

“They don’t belong to the Prophet Mohammed’s lineage. The group has no longer ‘a land to rule’ or ‘Ardh al-Tamkeen’.

“And none is well versed in Islamic theology,” said Fadhel Ragheef, another Iraqi expert on the extremist group.

“A caliph has to have an Ardh al-Tamkeen, which he rules in accordance with Islamic law. Failing that, the successor will just be recognized as the emir,” said Hashimi.

Emir is Arabic for prince, and is a title that jihadists often use to describe their leaders.

By contrast, Baghdadi, born as Ibrahim Awad al-Samarrai’ in 1971, comes from a family of preachers and studied Islamic law in Baghdad.

The appointment of the new leader would require the approval of an eight-member shoura council, an advisory body to the caliph.



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  • mayGodpunishopressors

    Thank God he has been dispatched to hell, waiting for the judgment seat of Christ 2corithns5:10. Wicked souls will never go unpunished.

    • Sam

      I don’t believe he has died.

  • North/West Allies

    While in Nigeria Shekue has died 10 times

  • Frank Bassey

    His place is already made up in Hell; his followers and silent sympathizers will go same way pronto.

  • JOHN

    His was the practical worship of Satan the devil who deceived his followers that he is God when he is a god. The devil is very wicked. He will send his worshippers to go kill the innocent in large numbers and would take their own lives in suicide killings because the devil’s food is blood, the human blood most desirable apart from rams they also kill for him in large numbers. The devil is violently wanting to take over the whole world by force of arms. His ministry is to kill, steal and destroy. Those worshipping and promoting the devil will end up in hell as with this evil Baghdadi. They always die untimely and bad death as with Osama Bin Ladin, Shekau, other jihadists like Dan Fodio etc. Others should flee from the devil and stop worshipping the god of killings and violence.

  • MilitaryPolice01

    Warfare strategy includes calculated deception, a ruse may be sold to the ‘enemy’ especially by the losing side to give the impression that the ‘leader’ is dead; this is to ward off the determined intent at eliminating him. This enables him hibernate quietly while calling the shots. The man may not be dead, al-Qaeda sold the same ruse on bin laden so many times till he was caught watching pornography in Abbotabad, Pakistan.

  • Rommel

    To receive 77 virgin perhaps or maybe 124 since he was an Emir of satan

  • 0tile

    Is Mohamed Buhari not going to send a message of condolence to the Umaa?

  • PolyGon2013

    Great news.