Abul-Hasan al-Muhajir

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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[edit]

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[edit]

  • "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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "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.