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Monday , December 16 2019

US ‘studies-up’ on new ISIS chief

Video of the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi raid is displayed as U.S. Central Command Commander Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie speaks, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, at a joint press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON, Nov 2, (Agencies): The United States is researching the new leader of the Islamic State to determine his previous roles in the organization, Nathan Sales, the US counter-terrorism coordinator, said on Friday after a US raid last month killed its former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “Any time there is a leadership transition in the terrorist organization, we want to make sure that we have the latest information that we need to have to confront the threat,” Sales told a briefing.

Islamic State, in an audio tape posted online on Thursday, confirmed that Baghdadi was killed in a weekend raid by US special forces in northwestern Syria. It vowed revenge against the United States.

The group, also known as ISIS, said a successor to Baghdadi identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi had been appointed. Earlier on Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “ISIS has a new leader. We know exactly who he is!” he said, without elaborating.

Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate, Sinai Province, has sworn allegiance to the new leader named by the group following the death of al-Baghdadi, the affiliate said on Telegram on Saturday. Sinai Province, which has waged an insurgency against the Egyptian state, posted pictures of around two dozen fighters standing among trees, with a caption saying they were pledging allegiance to Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi. Lawyers for 23 women who joined Islamic State from the Netherlands asked a judge on Friday to order the Netherlands to repatriate them and their 56 young children from camps in Syria.

The women and children were living in “deplorable conditions” in the al-Hol camp in Northern Syria, lawyer Andre Seebregts said in court.

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