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The Islamic State group’s new leader Abu Hasan al-Hashemi al-Qurashi has reportedly been captured in a recent raid in Istanbul, according to Bloomberg and local media reports. Turkish news website OdaTV identified the man as Abu al-Hassan al-Qurayshi without saying how it obtained the information, the report said.

Security officials in Turkey believe they have detained a man who has been leading the jihadist group since its previous chief Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi was killed in a US operation in Syria in February, reported Bloomberg.

According to US officials, Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi died after detonating a bomb to avoid capture as US commandos swooped in by helicopter to an area in northwest Syria controlled by the jihadists. His demise was the biggest set to the jihadist group since the killing of his predecessor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a 2019 US commando raid.

Hans-Jakob Schindler, senior director at Counter Extremism Project, and a former United Nations expert on jihadism, had recently said that the new ISIS chief’s will have two key priorities — to keep ties between its multiple subsidiaries and simply to stay alive, reported news agency AFP.

“His function is primarily to keep the network together, and serve as a focal point for the varieties of local affiliates,” AFP quoted the expert as saying.

“Operational involvement is highly risky. It means you have to communicate with others, and then it is just a matter of time; there was no phone in (the late Al-Qaeda founder Osama) bin Laden’s compound, and they still got him.

Some reports suggest that the detained man is Bashar Khattab Ghazal al Sumaidai, a.k.a Abu Khattab al Iraqi, Born in 1975, Abu Khattab joined ISIS in 2013. Earlier, he was a member of Ansar al Islam, an Al Qaeda affiliated Iraqi group, which is now inactive.

Sumaidai took the position of Islamic State’s chief judge in 2014 after the group seized Mosul and declared a Caliphate. He is also part of ISIS’s Delegate Committee responsible for the administration and leadership in Iraq and Syria.


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