According to a new report from Newsweek, ISIS has already designated a successor to slain leader Baghdadi.
Abdullah Qardash is a former Iraqi military officer who served under Saddam Hussein
In August was picked by Baghdadi to be in charge of the terrorist group’s Muslim affairs
Per Eurasia review, Abdullah Qardash is from Tal Afar, a predominantly Sunni Muslim city in northwestern Iraq. He is a graduate of an Islamic Sciences college in Mosul and had served as an army officer during Saddam Hussein’s regime. Close to al-Baghdadi’s deputy, Abu Ala al-Afri, who was killed in 2016, Qardash was nicknamed the “Professor” and the “Destroyer” and was recognised as a brutal policymaker in the group. Described by some security analysts as cruel and authoritarian yet popular and well-respected among other IS members, Qardash was responsible for eliminating those who are against al-Baghdadi’s style of leadership.
Qardash shares a history with al-Baghdadi. The two were imprisoned together at Camp Bucca detention centre in Basra by the US forces over their links to al-Qaeda in 2003. Camp Bucca was where al-Baghdadi forged close alliances with other inmates while refining his vision for the so-called Caliphate. Qardash had served as a religious commissar and a general sharia judge for al-Qaeda before pledging his allegiance to the IS.
In choosing his heir, al-Baghdadi would have taken into account his potential candidate’s historical background and religious legitimacy, according to IS’ beliefs. Qardash is assumed to be from the Quraysh tribe and belonging to the Prophet’s family (otherwise known as Ahl al-Bayt) thus making him a seemingly eligible nominee as a future caliph. Being a former Iraqi officer under Saddam’s regime and schooled at a religious college, Qardash would also be knowledgeable in Islamic jurisprudence and history.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) October 27, 2019
Newsweek reports back-to-back U.S. operations Saturday and Sunday have resulted in the deaths of Islamic State militant group (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and spokesperson Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir in Syria, but the organization has already designated a successor, Newsweek has learned.
Abdullah Qardash, sometimes spelled Kardesh and also known as Hajji Abdullah al-Afari, was said to have been nominated by Baghdadi in August to run the group’s “Muslim affairs” in a widely-circulated statement attributed to ISIS’ official Amaq news outlet, but never publicly endorsed by the group. Though little is known about the former Iraqi military officer who once served under late leader Saddam Hussein, one regional intelligence official asking not to be identified by name or nation told Newsweek that Qardash would have taken over Baghdadi’s role—though it had lost much of its significance by the time of his demise.
Baghdadi, who died after detonating a suicide vest following a Delta Team operation first reported by Newsweek, built ISIS’ self-styled caliphate out of Al-Qaeda’s Iraqi branch, but the official said that the influential hard-line cleric’s role had become largely symbolic.
“Baghdadi was a figurehead. He was not involved in operations or day-to-day,” the official told Newsweek. “All Baghdadi did was say yes or no—no planning.”
Details are still emerging as to what transpired at Baghdadi’s compound in Barisha village and why the ISIS chief was hiding out deep in territory more commonly associated with rival jihadi group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, led by former Baghdadi associate Abu Mohammed al-Jolani, who went on to built Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, Nusra Front. Both men’s forces, however, have faced consecutive defeats, severely limiting their freedom of movement across two nations they played key roles in destabilizing.
This article was written by the staff of TheConservativeOpinion.com