US Markets

Islamic State confirms Baghdadi is dead, appoints successor

Credit: REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

The Islamic State militant group confirmed on Thursday its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed, the group's news agency Amaq said in an audio tape following a U.S. weekend raid.

Ads details, background

CAIRO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - The Islamic State militant group confirmed on Thursday its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed, the group's news agency Amaq said in an audio tape following a U.S. weekend raid.

Baghdadi, an Iraqi jihadist who rose from obscurity to declare himself "caliph" of all Muslims as the leader of Islamic State, was killed by U.S. special forces in northwestern Syria, President Donald Trump said on Sunday.

The group had been silent until now. As successor it appointed someone Amaq only identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi.

Aymenn al-Tamimi, a researcher at Swansea University focused on Islamic State, said the name was unknown but could be a top figure called Hajj Abdullah whom the U.S. State Department had identified as a possible successor to Baghdadi

"It could be someone we know, who perhaps has just assumed this new name," said Tamimi.

The group, which controlled swathes of Iraq and Syria between 2014 and 2017 and carried out atrocities that horrified most Muslims, also confirmed the death of its spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir.

Baghdadi was killed in Idlib in northwestern Syria.

U.S. special forces carried out the Syrian operation in which Baghdadi killed himself and three of his children by detonating a suicide vest when he was cornered in a tunnel, according to U.S. officials.

(Reporting by Hesham Abdulkhalek, Yousef Saba and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Giles Elgood)

((Ulf.Laessing@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: follow me on twitter @ulflaessing))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Other Topics

World Markets

Latest Markets Videos

Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

Learn More