Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi

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Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi
أبو إبراهيم الهاشمي القرشي
Hajji‘Abdallah.jpg
Al Qurashi in an American prison camp (Iraq) in 2004
2nd Caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Assumed office
31 October 2019
Preceded byAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Personal details
Born
Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi

1 or (1976-10-05) 5 October 1976 (age 44)[1]
Tal Afar, Iraq[2]
NationalityIraqi
ReligionSunni Islam
Military service
Nickname(s)Haji Abdullah[2]
Allegiance
RankOfficer (until 2003)
Deputy leader (2014–2019)
Caliph (2019–present)
Battles/warsInternational military intervention against ISIL

Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi[3] (born October 1976,[1] Arabic: أبو إبراهيم الهاشمي القرشي‎;[4] alternative transliterations al-Qurayshi[5] and al-Quraishi[6]) is an Iraqi Islamist who is the second and current leader[note 1][10] of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. According to January 2020 press reports, his true identity is Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi (Arabic: أمير محمد عبد الرحمن المولى الصلبي‎).[2] His appointment by a shura council was announced by ISIL media on 31 October 2019, less than a week after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.[11] The U.S. Rewards for Justice Program is offering up to $10 million in exchange for information leading to al-Qurashi's apprehension.[12]

Speculations about identity[edit]

At the time he was announced as the successor of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, little was known about al-Hashimi, but his Arabic onomastic ("nisbah"), al-Qurashi, suggested that he, like Baghdadi, claimed a lineage to Muhammad's tribe of Quraysh, a position that offers legitimacy in some quarters.[11] Al-Hashimi's name was believed to be a nom de guerre and his real name was unknown at the time.[13]

The possibility that al-Hashimi was Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal Rahman al-Mawla was already raised on the day of al-Hashimi's coming to power, but this was uncertain at the time.[14] Muhammad Ali Sajit, the brother-in-law and aide of Baghdadi caught in June 2019, also believed that "Hajji Abdullah", a top aide to al-Baghdadi, was al-Hashimi, the new leader.[15]

Donald J. Trump Twitter
@realDonaldTrump

ISIS has a new leader. We know exactly who he is!

1 November 2019[16]

Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, believed that it is unlikely that ISIL would "release any video speeches from this new leader or at least ones that show his face".[5] Nonetheless, on 1 November 2019, United States president Donald Trump claimed on social media that the United States government had identified al-Hashimi's true identity.[17] However, a report on 5 November 2019 by The National said that this "does not seem to be the case" and that "reports indicate that Iraqi, Kurdish and American officials say they don’t have much to go on".[18] The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center correctly speculated on 5 November that al-Hashimi was of Iraqi nationality.[19] The Small Wars Journal agreed with this assessment, stating that Iraqis constitute the majority of ISIL members and would not accept a non-Iraqi leader for the organization.[20]

A report on 23 December by the Voice of America expressed doubt that al-Hashimi existed at all. It stated that ISIL was possibly caught off guard and announced a name as a holding move, to "create the impression it is on top of things".[21]

On 20 January 2020, The Guardian released a report confirming al-Hashimi's true identity as al-Mawla.[22][note 2]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Al-Hashimi was born on either 1 or 5 October 1976[23] as Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi in Tel Afar, Iraq.[2] He was born into an Iraqi Turkmen family,[2] and educated in Sharia law at the University of Mosul.[24] After graduating, he served as an army officer in Ba'athist Iraq.[24] After the end of Saddam's rule following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, he joined Al-Qaeda and served as a religious commissary and a general Sharia jurist.[24] In 2004, he was detained by US forces in Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq where he met Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.[25] He presumably re-joined Al-Qaeda after being released from prison at an unknown time.[24]

In 2014, al-Hashimi officially left al-Qaeda, reaffirming his loyalty to ISIL (which had previously operated as al-Qaeda's Iraqi branch). He played a key part in ISIL's capture of Mosul in June 2014.[24] He was one of the main ISIL leaders who orchestrated the genocidal mass killings of Yazidis during the Sinjar massacre in August of that year.[2][26] By this point, he had risen to deputy of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.[26]

According to ISIL, al-Hashimi is a veteran in fighting against Western nations,[13] being a religiously educated and experienced commander.[27] He was described as "the scholar, the worker, the worshiper", a "prominent figure in jihad",[28] and an "emir of war".[29]

Rise to power[edit]

Less than a week after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al-Hashimi was elected by a shura council as the new caliph of ISIL,[28] indicating that the group still considers itself a caliphate despite having lost all of its territory in Iraq and Syria.[29] Al-Hashimi's appointment was supposedly done in accordance with the advice of Baghdadi, meaning the new emir was named as a successor by Baghdadi himself.[30] Further evidence that al-Hashimi may have been appointed as successor by Baghdadi may be inferred from the relatively quick succession of Baghdadi.[5] Al-Hashimi's coming to power followed several days of speculation and denial surrounding Baghdadi's death among ISIL supporters.[31]

The general expectation was that al-Hashimi would become "the leader of a frayed organisation that has been reduced to scattered sleeper cells"[32] and the ruler of a "caliphate of ashes".[5] Some analysts believed that Baghdadi's death would likely cause ISIL to splinter, "leaving whoever emerges as its new leader with the task of pulling the group back together as a fighting force".[28] However, other analysts believed that Baghdadi's death would not have much of an impact on ISIL "in terms of operational capacity" and that it was likely "not to result in the group’s demise, or really even bring about a decline".[33]

Leader of ISIL[edit]

On 2–3 November, al-Hashimi's caliphacy was criticized as illegitimate by the al-Wafa’ Media Agency, an online media outlet previously aligned with ISIL before turning against it in March 2019. It was argued that "the Prophet decreed obedience to leaders who exist and who are known … not obedience to a nonentity or an unknown". Further, it was argued that the council which elected al-Hashimi did not qualify as a legitimate since it lacked three qualifications for the caliph's electors: justice, knowledge, and wisdom – which the council lacked, since it had sent Baghdadi to Idlib, which had earlier deemed by them a "land of unbelief", when he "would have been much safer hiding in the desert". Further disqualifying the council was the fact that the council had "shed innocent Muslim blood and embraced extremism in the practice of excommunication" (takfir). As a final note, the al-Wafa’ Media Agency stated that nothing was left for a would-be caliph to preside over – “You do not recognize that God has destroyed your state on account of your oppression.”[8]

In 2019, al-Hashimi received pledges of allegiance from ISIL's Sinai province and Bangladeshi affiliates (2 November), Somali province (3 November), Pakistani province and Yemen province (4 November), Hauran province and Khorasan Province (5 November), Tunisia province (6 November), West Africa province, Levant Province – Homs, Levant Province – al-Khayr, Levant Province – Raqqa, East Asia Province and Central Africa Province (7 November), West Asia Province (8 November), West Africa Province – Mali and Burkina Faso and Levant Province - al-Barakah (9 November), Levant Province – Halab (12 November), Iraq Province – Baghdad (14 November), Libya Province (15 November), Iraq Province – Dijlah (16 November), Iraq Province – Diyala (17 November), Iraq Province – Salah al-Din (18 November), Iraq Province – Kirkuk (19 November), East Asia Province – Indonesia (22 November), Azerbaijani affiliates (29 November),[34] and in 2020 from ISIL's Malian affiliates (31 January).[35] These pledges of allegiance appeared to be intended to illustrate the legitimacy and unanimous acceptance of al-Hashimi, to counter criticism that he was unknown and illegitimate.[8]

Following an attack on the Tajikistan–Uzbekistan border that killed 17 people on 7 November, the attackers declared allegiance to al-Hashimi prior to the attack, according to journalist Rukmini Callimachi.[36]

On 23 December 2019, the Voice of America commented that al-Hashimi had "not provided visible leadership".[21] In contrast, the United Nations Security Council judged in January 2020 that ISIL had undergone a resurgence in Iraq and Syria. Though these successes were partially attributed to al-Qurashi's leadership, he still remained a shadowy figure. The UN Security Council suggested that ISIL feared that al-Hashimi lacked some credentials that were usually necessary for a caliph, and kept him out of the spotlight as to not endanger his position.[26]

On 24 March 2020, the United States Department of State designated al-Hashimi as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224.[37][38]

On 20 May 2020, Iraqi Intelligence Agency identified a captured militant as al-Hashimi; however, the military clarified that this was actually Abdul Nasser Qardash, a potential successor to al-Baghdadi. Al-Hashimi, the leader of ISIL, was still outside Iraqi custody at the time.[39]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ ISIL describes itself as a caliphate and its leader as a caliph, but this is disputed by multiple Muslim scholars and authors.[7][8][9]
  2. ^ The Guardian also reported that he maintained connections with his brother, Adel Salbi, who is a representative in the Iraqi Turkmen Front.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Security Council ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Adds One Entry to Its Sanctions List". Security Council: Press Release - the United Nations. 21 May 2020. DOB: a) 5 Oct. 1976 b) 1 Oct. 1976
  2. ^ a b c d e f Chulov, Martin; Rasool, Mohammed (20 January 2020). "Isis founding member confirmed by spies as group's new leader". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 20 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Supporters Begin Flocking to New Islamic State Leader". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  4. ^ "تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية يعلن عن خليفة للبغدادي" (in Arabic). 31 October 2019. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Sanchez, Raf (1 November 2019). "Why Isil's new leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi has inherited an empire in ruins". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi named IS leader". MEO. 1 November 2019. Archived from the original on 4 November 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  7. ^ Yusuf al-Qaradawi stated: "[The] declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria", adding that the title of caliph can "only be given by the entire Muslim nation", not by a single group. Strange, Hannah (5 July 2014). "Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi addresses Muslims in Mosul". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 July 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Succession, Caliph Abu Unknown:; says, Legitimacy in the Islamic State-War on the Rocks. "Caliph Incognito: The Ridicule of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi". www.jihadica.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2020. Retrieved 2 January 2020.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  9. ^ Hamid, Shadi (1 November 2016). "What a caliphate really is—and how the Islamic State is not one". Brookings. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Islamic State Group Names Successor to Al-Baghdadi". NBC Southern California. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019. The new spokesman, named Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, urged followers to pledge allegiance to the new Caliph
  11. ^ a b Chulov, Martin (31 October 2019). "Islamic State names new leader after death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 31 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Amir Muhammad Sa'id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla". Rewards for Justice Program.
  13. ^ a b "Islamic State names its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi". bbc.com. Archived from the original on 31 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  14. ^ Haltiwanger, John (31 October 2019). "ISIS says it has a new leader less than a week after the US raid that left al-Baghdadi dead". Business Insider. Business Insider Inc. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  15. ^ El Deeb, Sarah (5 November 2019). "In last days, al-Baghdadi sought safety in shrinking domain". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  16. ^ Donald J. Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (1 November 2019). "ISIS has a new leader. We know exactly who he is!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ "US knows new Daesh/ISIS leader, says Trump". aa.com.tr. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  18. ^ "After Baghdadi: what we know about the new ISIS leader". The National. Archived from the original on 6 November 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  19. ^ "ISIS announces appointment of new leader in place of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi". The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. 5 November 2019. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Clues to Al-Baghdadi's Successor | Small Wars Journal". smallwarsjournal.com. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  21. ^ a b "Who is The Islamic State Group's New Boss?". Voice of America. Archived from the original on 31 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  22. ^ a b Chulov, Martin; Rasool, Mohammed (20 January 2020). "Isis founding member confirmed by spies as group's new leader". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  23. ^ "Security Council ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Adds One Entry to Its Sanctions List". UN Security Council. 21 May 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020. DOB: a) 5 Oct. 1976 b) 1 Oct. 1976
  24. ^ a b c d e "Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi a.k.a. Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi". Counter Extremism Project. 29 January 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Islamic State appoints Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi as new leader - The Financial Express". www.financialexpress.com. 21 January 2020. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  26. ^ a b c Paul Cruickshank (29 January 2020). "UN report warns ISIS is reasserting under new leader believed to be behind Yazidi genocide". CNN. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  27. ^ Dahhan, Ghassan (31 October 2019). "IS heeft een nieuwe leider: Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi" [IS did not release much information about the new leader, except that he is both a religious scholar and an experienced commander.]. Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 31 October 2019. IS liet weinig los over de nieuwe leider, behalve dat hij zowel een religieus geleerde is als een ervaren commandant
  28. ^ a b c "Islamic State names new leader, confirms death of Baghdadi in US raid". ABC News. 1 November 2019. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  29. ^ a b Sanchez, Raf (31 October 2019). "Islamic State announces new leader after death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 31 October 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  30. ^ "Islamic State confirms Baghdadi's death, names new 'Emir of the Faithful' | FDD's Long War Journal". longwarjournal.org. 1 November 2019. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  31. ^ "Isis just announced the name of its new leader after the death of Baghdadi". The Independent. 31 October 2019. Archived from the original on 31 October 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  32. ^ "ISIL confirms death of leader al-Baghdadi, names new chief". aljazeera.com. Archived from the original on 31 October 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  33. ^ "What to Know About the New Leader of ISIS". Time. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  34. ^ "The Islamic State's Bayat Campaign". jihadology.net. Archived from the original on 21 December 2019. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  35. ^ Caleb weiss (31 January 2020). "Jihadists in central Mali pledge allegiance to new Islamic State leader". Long War Journal. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  36. ^ Callimachi, Rukmini (8 November 2019). "1. This is significant: A few days ago, Tajik officials confirmed that an attack on a border post in Tajikistan which killed 17 people was carried out by ISIS. Today, ISIS released a video of the assailants. They pledge allegiance not to Baghdadi but to the new caliph". @rcallimachi. Archived from the original on 8 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  37. ^ "U.S. Designates ISIS Leader As Specially Designated Global Terrorist". Counter Extremism Project. 30 March 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  38. ^ "Designation of Amir Muhammad Sa'id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist". Federal Register. 24 March 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  39. ^ ArLuther Lee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Suspected Islamic State terrorist leader arrested in Iraq, reports say". ajc. Retrieved 21 May 2020.

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