Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir

Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir (Arabic: أبو الحسن المهاجر; died 27 October 2019)[1] was the kunya used by the official spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant from 5 December 2016 until 27 October 2019, when he was killed in a U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria. He was a Saudi national.[2]

History

Abul-Hasan was the successor of Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, who was killed while visiting the Aleppo frontlines in Syria in August 2016.[3] He was believed to have been a foreigner due to his kunya identifying him as "al-Muhajir" meaning "the emigrant". After his death, he was confirmed to be a Saudi national on 31 October.[4]

Speeches

  • "And You Will Remember What I [Now] Say To You" – 5 December 2016
  • "So Be Patient. Indeed, The Promise Of God Is Truth" – 4 April 2017[5]
  • "And When The Believers Saw The Companies" – 12 June 2017[6]
  • "So From Their Guidance Take An Example" – 22 April 2018[7]
  • "The Mujāhidīn’s Assault on the Tower of the Polytheists" – 26 September 2018
  • "He Was True To God, So [God] Was True To Him" – 18 March 2019[8]

Speculation about identity

In an article published in The Atlantic, journalist Graeme Wood postulates that Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir is Texas-born John Georgelas, also known as Yahya Abu Hassan, though he later cast doubt on his theory, and al-Bahrumi was eventually killed in October 2017.[9] Italian media has also speculated that al-Muhajir studied at the Black Swan Rock School of Music in Luserna San Giovanni.[10]

Death

Muhajir and four others were killed on 27 October 2019 by a Central Intelligence Agency airstrike in Ayn al-Bayda,[11] near Jarablus in northwest Syria, close to the border with Turkey.[1][12] It came less than 24 hours after ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi blew himself up during a U.S. raid in Syria's Idlib Province.[13] Muhajir was described as a senior ISIS leader and Baghdadi's "right-hand man."[1]

On 29 October, U.S. President Donald Trump stated on social media that al-Baghdadi's "number one replacement" had been killed by American forces, adding: "Most likely would have taken the top spot - Now he is also Dead!"[14] While Trump did not specify a name, a U.S. official later confirmed that Trump was referring to al-Muhajir.[15] On 31 October, ISIS confirmed al-Muhajir and al-Baghdadi's deaths.[16]

References

  1. "ISIS spokesman Al-Muhajir killed in U.S. airstrike in Syria". BNO News. October 27, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  2. "IS confirms Baghdadi death and names new leader". October 31, 2019 via www.bbc.com.
  3. "Islamic State identifies Abi al-Hassan al-Muhajer as new spokesman". Reuters. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  4. "Islamic State names its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi". www.bbc.com. Retrieved 2019-10-31.
  5. Berger, J.M. (August 2017). "Countering Islamic State Messaging Through "Linkage-Based" Analysis" (PDF). International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague: 3-4, 6, 8. doi:10.19165/2017.2.02. ISSN 2468-0486. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  6. Hassan, Hassan (June 2017). "The Battle for Raqqa and the Challenges after Liberation". Combating Terrorism Center. United States Military Academy. 10 (6): 6. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  7. Zelin, Aaaron Y. (22 April 2018). "New audio message from The Islamic State's Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir: "So From Their Guidance Take An Example"". Jihadology. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  8. Callimachi, Rukmini (18 March 2019). "ISIS Spokesman Ends Silence by Calling for Retaliation Over New Zealand Massacres". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  9. Wood, Graeme (25 January 2017). "The American Climbing the Ranks of ISIS". The Atlantic. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  10. Raineri, Daniele (7 July 2017). "I nuovi capi dello Stato islamico". Il Foglio (in Italian). Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  11. "U.S. Strikes Kill ISIS Spokesperson One Day After Baghdadi's Death in Syria Raid". Newsweek. 27 October 2019.
  12. "Kurdish YPG: Islamic State spokesman killed in Syria". Reuters. October 27, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  13. "ISIS Leader al-Baghdadi Is Dead, Trump Says". The New York Times. October 27, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  14. "Trump says al-Baghdadi's 'number one replacement' is dead". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  15. "Trump says likely Baghdadi successor killed by U.S. troops". Reuters. October 29, 2019. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  16. "Islamic State confirms Baghdadi's death, names new 'Emir of the Faithful'". Long War Journal. 1 November 2019.
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