ABU Bakr al-Baghdadi, was the leader of ISIS and for a while one of the world’s most wanted men.
However, on October 27, 2019 US President Donald Trump said he had died, adding he “died like a dog…he died like a coward” – but who is successor?
How did al-Baghdadi die?
As US forces bore down on al-Baghdadi, Mr Trump said the ISIS chief fled into a tunnel with three of his children and detonated a suicide vest.
In a televised address to the nation from the White House he said: “He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down.
“He ignited his vest, killing himself and his three children. His body was mutilated by the blasts. The tunnel had caved on him.
He had been the subject of an international manhunt for years and had a $25m bounty on his head.
A US official said the ISIS leader had been targeted in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province.
The president had teased a major announcement the day before announcing al-Baghdadi’s death, tweeting that “something very big has just happened.”
Trump also thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, as well as Kurdish fighters in Syria for their support.
Who is the new ISIS leader?
A former officer in Saddam Hussein’s army has been named as the new leader of the terrorist group.
Abdullah Qardash – known as the Professor – is already believed to have assumed control of the day-to-day running of the jihadi group.
Qardash was reportedly appointed as Baghdadi’s successor in August, after the terror chief was wounded in an airstrike and was also suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure.
A regional intelligence official told Newsweek that Qardash would now have taken over as ISIS leader.
The official said: “Baghdadi was a figurehead. He was not involved in operations or day-to-day. All Baghdadi did was say yes or no—no planning.”
Qardash is a former officer in Saddam’s army who grew close to Baghdadi, 48, when they were both jailed in Basra by US forces for their links to al-Qaeda in 2003.
It was in the Iraqi prison that Baghdadi became a jihadist demagogue converting hundreds of prisoners to his sick vision of a so-called caliphate.
Qardash, whose age is unknown, is believed to have worked alongside him ever since, reports The Times.
Abdullah Qardash, a former officer in Saddam Hussein’s military, is reportedly the new leader of ISIS[/caption]
Who was ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?
The terror chief is believed to have been born in Samarra, north of Iraqi capital Baghdad, in 1971.
He was reportedly a cleric in a mosque when the city was invaded by US-led forces in 2003.
While reports differ on when al-Baghdadi was radicalised, it has been suggested that he was brainwashed in Camp Bucca, a US prison in southern Iraq.
He was previously the leader of extremist group al-Qaeda in Iraq which eventually transformed into ISIS in 2010.
Al-Baghdadi’s first public appearance on video was in 2014 when he delivered a sermon in Mosul, Iraq.
The so-called “caliphate” had been declared by the sinister terror chief and his followers earlier that year.
Nicknamed the “invisible sheikh”, al-Baghdadi reportedly wears a mask while speaking to his sick band of thugs, reports the BBC.
Before September, 2017, the last known message from al-Baghdadi was in December, 2016.
Since the terror boss’ disappearance, ISIS have suffered heavy defeats in Iraq, Syria and Libya – including losing control of Mosul in July, 2017.
There were also numerous unsubstantiated reports of the death cult leader’s demise over the years.
In November 2019 reports emerged out of Iraq that Baghdadi had fled the country in a yellow taxi while at the same time ordering remaining militants to fight to the death.
An intelligence source told the Iraqi Media News Agency how the terror chief picked out the unusual vehicle in a bid to avoid suspicion.
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On August 14, it was reported that al-Baghdadi was “clinically dead” after an airstrike and that he has been replaced by a murderous fanatic called Abu Othman al-Tunisi.
But on October 27, 2019 the President of the United States confirmed al-Baghdadi had died after fleeing into a tunnel.
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