New IS leader Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi
New IS leader Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi
Photo: Courtesy
New IS leader Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi

New leader of Islamic State said confirmed by intel agencies

Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi grew up in the ranks and received preferred status because of his scholarly background in Islamic studies, which he used to justify the enslavement of Yazidis

AFP |
Published: 01.21.20 , 15:49
Intelligence services have identified the new leader of the Islamic State as Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi, British newspaper The Guardian reported.
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  • The paper, citing officials from two unnamed spy services, described him as one of the terrorist group's founding members and said he had led the enslavement of the Yazidi minority in Iraq.
    New IS leader Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi New IS leader Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi
    New IS leader Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi
    (Photo: Courtesy)
    It said he also oversaw operations around the world.
    The organization had named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi as its new head just days after its previous leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a raid by U.S. special forces in October.
    But some analysts suggested the group were caught off guard by Baghdadi's killing and that the true identity of its new leader remained uncertain.
    The Guardian said Salbi was selected within hours of the death and that Quraishi was a nom de guerre not recognized by other senior leaders or intelligence agencies.
    Slain IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Slain IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
    Slain IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
    (Photo: AP)
    The newspaper described him as "a hardened veteran in the same vein as Baghdadi, unflinching in his loyalty to the extremist group."
    It said he was born into an Iraqi Turkmen family in the town of Tal Afar, and is one of the few non-Arabs among the group's leadership.
    Holding a degree in Sharia law from the University of Mosul, he rose through its ranks in part thanks to his background as an Islamic scholar, the paper added.
    Salbi gave religious rulings that underwrote the attempted genocide of Yazidis by IS, it said.
    Yazidi refugees worry for missing relatives Yazidi refugees worry for missing relatives
    Yazidi refugees worry for missing relatives
    (Photo: Getty Images)
    In 2004 he was detained by US forces in Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq where he met Baghdadi, according to The Guardian.

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