baghdadi

On October 31, 2019, the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) released a message from its new spokesman, “Abu Hamza al-Qurashi,” confirming the recent deaths of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir.

SITE Director Rita Katz is providing ongoing analysis on the speech: assessing its threats, the ISIS community’s responses thus far, and implications for the world’s fight against the group, among other matters.

You can view the Twitter thread linked below:

https://twitter.com/Rita_Katz/status/1189924858571952128

If you are unable to access these tweets, you can view the following copies of Ms. Katz’ posts thus far:

Audio from new official spokesman of #ISIS, “Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi.” Statement confirms Abu Hassan al-Muhajir's death, saying that he was a Saudi. Also confirms death of Baghdadi, announces "Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi" as new leader/"Caliph."

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https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Statements/is.html

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The message warns America not to rejoice in killing of its leadership. Asserts #ISIS is not limited to Middle East and that it will continue its mission.

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The new message tells followers to continue to follow up on the call of Baghdadi's last audio message (released September 2019)--specifically in releasing Muslim prisoners and to make recruitment and outreach.

https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Statements/is-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-orders-fighters-redouble-efforts-at-all-levels-promotes-religious-activism.html

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Abu Hamza also states that killed spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir was a minister and assistant of Abu Bakr al-#Baghdadi. Also states the Shura Council of #ISIS, after consultation, agreed to act upon Baghdadi's will and pledge allegiance to Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.

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It was a very short message. Essentially just confirmation of recent leadership deaths, threatening continued presence across the world, and calling ISIS supporters to fulfill Baghdadi's calls.

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The speech threatens: "America, don't you realize that the Islamic State is now at the forefront of Europe and West Africa? It is extended from the East to the West."

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As #ISIS' online machine is still alive and well, we should expect to see a campaign for this message spanning various platforms, accompanied by pledges from across the world.

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As expected, new #ISIS leader is (allegedly) from the tribe of Quraysh, which the Prophet Muhammad came from. Still, the speech provides very little information about him.

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For #ISIS supporters, the deaths of Baghdadi and Abu Hassan al-Muhajir were never going to change anything. As I write this, new pledges of allegiance are already being posted across ISIS web venues.

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Based on the reactions that are already pouring in from the #ISIS community, it appears these new developments have energized the group's supporters.

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We should expect a message from this new #ISIS leader in the near future. Still, I don't expect ISIS will release any video speeches from this new leader (or at least ones that show his face).

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Not surprising some jihadists pointing out that the man sitting near Baghdadi in the April 2019 video (with the red head scarf) was actually Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, both of whom now dead. (No confirmation of this, of course.)

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An #ISIS announcement as major as today’s gives a good look at how coordinated its community of members, media workers & supporters are. On Telegram alone, ISIS-linked groups and channels are carrying out a massive campaign of pledges to ISIS’ new leader using a uniform template.

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https://ent.siteintelgroup.com/Chatter/is-supporters-pledge-to-new-caliph-immediately-after-confirmation-of-baghdadi-s-death.html

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Troubling that even after past week’s developments, #ISIS’ media machine is still chugging along: Naba digital newspaper out on time, communiques rolling out, etc.

Cannot be stressed enough: Despite politically driven narratives of victory, ISIS is not “beaten.”

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I’ve been asked about new #ISIS spox's threats against US & West. My takeaway: these threats are not new. Furthermore, ISIS doesn't have any new capabilities it didn't have a week ago. These events have energized its members tho, so remains to be seen if/how that materializes.

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Also, regarding questions of how this might affect ISIS’ relations with other factions, ISIS' new leadership will run by the same our-way-or-the-highway game plan, so I don’t expect any new cooperation between ISIS and rival factions (at least not openly).

https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-isis-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadis-death-means-for-al-qaeda-and-why-it-matters?ref=author

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