ISIS Is Now on Its 4th Leader Since Early 2022

Group confirms another leader has been 'martyred'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2023 7:30 AM CDT
ISIS Says Another Leader Has Been 'Martyred'
A militia fighter burns an ISIS flag on the front line on the western side of Raqqa, northeast Syria, July 17, 2017.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

Leaders of the Islamic State group, aka ISIS, use "al-Qurayshi," the name of the Prophet Mohammed's tribe, as a nom de guerre—and the group is now on its fourth al-Qurayshi since early last year. The group's spokesman said in a recording on Telegram on Thursday that Abu Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurayshi had been killed in a battle with a rival militant group in northwest Syria, Reuters reports. In April, the group denied Turkey's claim that its intelligence agents had killed the leader. The group named Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as its new leader but didn't provide any further information on him.

The spokesman said Abu Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurayshi, its leader since his predecessor was killed in November last year, was "martyred" when members of the al-Qaeda-linked group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham tried to detain him. The spokesman said other ISIS members are still in the rival group's custody. ISIS is a "shadow" of the organization that once ruled around a third of Iraq and Syria, Reuters notes, but it still has thousands of fighters hiding out in remote areas of both countries. Earlier this month, the US said its drones killed a high-ranking ISIS member in northwest Syria. (More ISIS stories.)

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