07 November 2019

 

Predictions

  • Islamic State will clarify identity of new leader in coming months to avoid losing legitimacy and to maintain allegiance of affiliated groups
  • Appointment of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as successor to al-Baghdadi will not lead to operational…
  • Killing of al-Baghdadi will increase potential for sympathiser attacks on…

 

Analysis

Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is oppressed.”
(Imam Bukhari, Hadith 623)
NOTE:
This hadith is used by jihadist groups to encourage their sympathisers to carry out attacks

Islamic State (IS) named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as the successor to former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on 31 October. The announcement, made through the group’s Amaq media agency, followed al-Baghdadi’s death in a US special forces raid on a compound in Syria’s Idlib Province five days earlier. The group also named a new spokesman, Abu Hamza al-Qurashi, to replace Abu Hasan al-Muhajir, who was killed in a separate US raid on the same day as al-Baghdadi. IS media outlets have since published images purporting to show militants pledging allegiance to the new leader, including fighters in Bangladesh and Egypt’s Sinai region on 2 November, and militants in Syria and Afghanistan on 5 November. Meanwhile, IS has claimed responsibility for an attack on security forces in Mali, near the border with Niger, which killed at least 53 soldiers, including one French national, on 2 November.

Al-Baghdadi killed himself by detonating a suicide vest when US forces raided his compound near Barisha, just 5 km from Syria’s border with Turkey (see our 29 October Special Report). His death marks a major success for US counter-terrorism efforts and for President Trump, who took evident satisfaction in announcing that al-Baghdadi “died like a dog”. However, the group’s swift announcement of a successor demonstrates its resilience, and will also be intended to prevent the defection of supporters to IS’s rival, al-Qaeda. Indeed, the announcement that several global affiliates have already pledged support for the new IS leader suggests major…

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