Trump claimed that the late ISIS leader who spearheaded his cult’s brutal and extremist terror activities in the Middle East and around the world had died “whimpering and crying and screaming” in his last moments. Now, Newsweek claim the death cult has named a new leader in little-known Abdullah Qardash, former officer in Saddam Hussein’s military who forged an alliance with al-Baghdadi in prison before becoming his enforcer and policy-maker. Nicknamed The Professor or The Destroyer because of his reputation as a brutal legislator, he is known as a cruel but popular figure within ISIS ranks.
Qardash was jailed in Iraq in 2003 by the US under President George W Bush due to links with al-Qaeda.
According to a statement by Amaq, ISIS’s press agency, Baghdadi appointed Qardash to run the group’s operations in August this year, making him the likely replacement to his late boss.
The rumours coincide with security experts and politicians around the world warning of a vicious retaliation from ISIS as they look to put on a resurgent facade despite waning forces.
Colonel Richard Kemp, former head of international terrorism intelligence at the Cabinet Office, said in his column for the Mirror: “When bin Laden was killed, al-Baghdadi unleashed violent retaliation. Security services will now be braced for attempts to avenge his death.”
The UK Government has also warned against complacency in the wake of al-Baghdadi’s death.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab last night cautioned: “The death of al-Baghdadi is a significant milestone in the coalition’s work to defeat Daesh (ISIS), but it is not the end of the threat.”
Concern is not just brewing in the UK however, as France and the Philippines have also declared that their militaries are on high alert.
Military spokesman in the Philippines Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said: “Our troops in the front lines remain on high alert to thwart possible attempts to ride on this development.”
French President Emmanuel Macron has warned: “The fight continues with our partners in the international coalition so that the terrorist organisation is definitely defeated.”
Interior Minister in Paris Christophe Castaner called for increased vigilance to prevent attacks in the future.
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He said: “The possible intensification of jihadist propaganda following this death, which could possibly call for acts of vengeance, requires the most extreme vigilance…”
While many of the world’s leaders are cautious about getting too carried away with the death of al-Baghdadi, it still serves as a representation of the terror group’s struggles as they find themselves on the brink of defeat in Syria.
ISIS forces have been depleted by Western, Russian and Syrian efforts, even if the US and Russia are on different sides of the conflict.
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