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ISIS Picks Baghdadi's Replacement

Statement says new leader is a veteran jihadist fighter and religious scholar
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2019 4:15 PM CDT
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This image released by the Department of Defense on Wednesday shows Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.   (Department of Defense via AP)

(Newser) – ISIS announced a new leader to replace Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who died in a raid by US forces last weekend. The terrorist organization said Thursday that his replacement is Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurashi, an identity that's probably a nom de guerre, the BBC reports. A seven-minute audio statement said he's a veteran jihadist fighter and religious scholar who's fought against US forces, per the Independent. In addition to announcing its new leader, ISIS confirmed the deaths of Baghdadi and of spokesman Abu al-Hasan al-Muhajir.

The new spokesman said the Shura Council has pledged its allegiance to Hashemi, and allies were expressing their support after the ISIS announcement. Site Intelligence Group said ISIS warned the US to not celebrate the killing of Baghdadi, per USA Today. ISIS "is at the doorstep of Europe and is in Central Africa," the statement said, per CBS. "It is also expanding and remaining from east to west." (The Defense Department released a video and details about the raid in which Baghdadi died.)

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