Soon after the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the terror group had named a new leader. It is now confirmed that Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi has taken the leadership of the outift, officials from two intelligence agencies have said. Al-Salbi is said to be one of the founding members of the terror group.
The group had previously named its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, which was al-Salbi's assumed name. Months after Baghdadi's death, western and regional spies have been trying to piece together the role played by al-Salbi in the organisation.
Who is this decision maker?
Salbi was born to an Iraqi Turkmen family in Tal Afar, Iraq. He is one of the very few non-Arab leaders in the ISIS. There is not much information available about his family, but he is believed to have one son. He is also known by two other names: Haji Abdullah and Abdullah Qardash. But Iraqi officials said the latter was an ISIS member who passed away two years ago. Salbi is said to be an Islamic scholar who studied at the University of Mosul.
Salbi was one of the masterminds behind the Yazidi genocide and has given similar religious rulings that killed several. The US state department had put a bounty of $5 million on Salbi in October last year when US military raided north-west Syria. Previously, he was detained in Camp Bucca prison in 2004 where he met Baghdadi. It took several months for the intelligence agencies to secure information about the new ISIS leader, but it was said that the replacement was planned immediately after Baghdadi fell ill.
Changing plans for the ISIS?
The forces fighting against the terror group says that there has been an increase in the number of attacks since mid last year. The group said that they have carried out around 106 attacks between 20 and 26 December for avenging the deaths of their previous leaders.
The Kurdish special forces fighting against the terror group confirmed by saying that there has been a rise in the number of attacks. They said that there have been around 60 attacks per month since last year, which targetted Iraqi security forces through assassinations and assaults.
The hunt for Salbi has reached Turkey, where his brother, Adel Salbi is said to be representative of the political party called Turkmen Iraqi Front. It is said that he had continued to maintain contact with Adel until he was named the new leader. There is no information as to where the leader of the organisation is hiding.
Turkish exit stamps in ISIS passports
Several militants captured by pro-US Kurdish forces in northern Syria had exit stamps from Turkey in their passports. With the new leader being related to the inner circle of the country, questions have started to grow about the relationship of the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to the militant group.