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01/22/2020 Iraq (International Christian Concern) – Following Baghdadi’s death in October, the Islamic State (ISIS) named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi as their new leader. The name, however, was a nom de guerre that masked his true identity. However, new reports indicate that his true identity is that of Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli al-Salbi.

This information confirms a suspicion of many since the announcement. Al-Salbi was indeed born in Tal Afar, in Nineveh, the most religiously diverse province in Iraq. He is responsible for issuing religious rulings that directly targeted Yazidis and Christians during the height of ISIS’s control over Nineveh. Some media reports indicate from intelligence officials that he may have likely have stayed in Nineveh following ISIS’s defeat, preferring to stay in towns just west of Mosul.

Although ISIS suffered a serious blow in losing both territory and their founding leader, the militants have remained dedicated in their extremist mission. The security situation has severely deteriorated in Iraq following a US airstrike in Baghdad, and ISIS has attempted to take advantage of the situation. It has yet to be seen how the consequences of this attempt will develop.

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