Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi
Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi (Arabic: أبو إبراهيم الهاشمي القرشي; alternative transliterations al-Qurayshi and al-Quraishi) is the current caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. His true identity is unknown. His appointment by a shura council was announced by ISIL media on 31 October 2019, less than a week after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi
أبو إبراهيم الهاشمي القرشي
|2nd Caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
|Assumed office |
31 October 2019
|Preceded by||Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi|
|Nationality||Unknown, possibly Iraqi|
|Rank||Commander (until 2019)|
|Battles/wars||International military intervention against ISIL|
Name and identity
Little is known about al-Hashimi, but his nisbah, al-Qurashi, suggests that he, like Baghdadi, claims a lineage to Muhammad's tribe of Quraysh, a position that offers legitimacy in some quarters. Al-Hashimi's name is believed to be a nom de guerre and his real name is unknown.
There is some speculation that al-Hashimi is Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal Rahman al-Mawla, who is also known as Hajji 'Abdallah. Muhammad Ali Sajit, the brother-in-law and aide of Baghdadi caught in June 2019, also believes that Hajji 'Abdallah is the new leader.
Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, believes that it is unlikely that ISIL would "release any video speeches from this new leader or at least ones that show his face". Nonetheless, on 1 November 2019, United States president Donald Trump claimed on social media that the United States government had identified al-Hashimi's true identity. However, a report on 5 November 2019 by The National said that this "does not seem to be the case" and that "reports indicate that Iraqi, Kurdish and American officials say they don’t have much to go on". The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center has speculated that al-Hashimi is of Iraqi nationality. The Small Wars Journal agrees with this assessment, stating that Iraqis constitute the majority of ISIL members and would not accept a non-Iraqi leader for the organization.
According to ISIL, al-Hashimi is a veteran in fighting against Western nations, being a religiously educated and experienced commander. He was described as "the scholar, the worker, the worshiper", a "prominent figure in jihad", and an "emir of war".
Leader of ISIL
Less than a week after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, al-Hashimi was elected by a shura council as the new caliph of ISIL, indicating that the group still considers itself a caliphate despite having lost all of its territory in Iraq and Syria. Al-Hashimi's appointment was supposedly done in accordance with the advice of Baghdadi, meaning the new emir was named as a successor by Baghdadi himself. Further evidence that al-Hashimi may have been appointed as successor by Baghdadi may be inferred from the relatively quick succession of Baghdadi. Al-Hashimi's coming to power followed several days of speculation and denial surrounding Baghdadi's death among ISIL supporters.
The general expectation was that al-Hashimi would become "the leader of a frayed organisation that has been reduced to scattered sleeper cells" and the ruler of a "caliphate of ashes". Some analysts believed that Baghdadi's death would likely cause ISIL to splinter, "leaving whoever emerges as its new leader with the task of pulling the group back together as a fighting force". However, other analysts believed that Baghdadi's death would not have much of an impact on ISIL "in terms of operational capacity" and that it was likely "not to result in the group’s demise, or really even bring about a decline".
Following an attack on the Tajikistan–Uzbekistan border that killed 17 people total on 7 November, the attackers declared allegiance to al-Hashimi prior to the attack, according to journalist Rukmini Callimachi.
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- Sanchez, Raf (2019-11-01). "Why Isil's new leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi has inherited an empire in ruins". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 2019-11-01. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
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The new spokesman, named Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, urged followers to pledge allegiance to the new Caliph
- Chulov, Martin (2019-10-31). "Islamic State names new leader after death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 2019-10-31. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
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- Haltiwanger, John (31 October 2019). "ISIS says it has a new leader less than a week after the US raid that left al-Baghdadi dead". Business Insider. Business Insider Inc. Archived from the original on 1 November 2019. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
- El Deeb, Sarah (5 November 2019). "In last days, al-Baghdadi sought safety in shrinking domain". Associated Press. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
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- Dahhan, Ghassan (2019-10-31). "IS heeft een nieuwe leider: Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi" [IS did not release much information about the new leader, except that he is both a religious scholar and an experienced commander.]. Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-10-31.
IS liet weinig los over de nieuwe leider, behalve dat hij zowel een religieus geleerde is als een ervaren commandant
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- "IS in Bangladesh pledge allegiance to new leader". IS in Bangladesh pledge allegiance to new leader | theindependentbd.com. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
- "Somali ISIS affiliate swears allegiance to new leader". Israel National News. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
- Callimachi, Rukmini (2019-11-08). "1. This is significant: A few days ago, Tajik officials confirmed that an attack on a border post in Tajikistan which killed 17 people was carried out by ISIS. Today, ISIS released a video of the assailants. They pledge allegiance not to Baghdadi but to the new caliph". @rcallimachi. Retrieved 2019-11-09.