After the elemination of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS, the group has elected Abdullah Kardash also known as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, a new leader for the extremist organization, born in Nineveh province, specifically Tal Afar.
Kardash blew himself up on Thursday February 3rd when US troops approached his residence in a village of Idlib, northwestern Syria, in the biggest raid by US-led troops in the country since the 2019 operation that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakir al-Baghdadi.
This nomination of Kardash came after several Turkmen leaders emerged from the city of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, like Abu Ala which was once the second man in the ranks of al-Qaeda and later Kardahs has replaced Abu Bakir al-Baghdadi as the leader of ISIS.
And others in the front row of the two extremist organizations, including Abdel Nasser Kardash, who was arrested by the intelligence service last month.
Biography of Kardash - al-Quraishi
Iraqi security and intelligence sources revealed to KirkukNow information about the new leader and his history in the city of Mosul before he assumed this position.
Kardahs or Quraishi’s full name is Amir Muhammad Saeed Abd al-Rahman Salbi al-Mawla, and his nicknames were Abu Omar, Abu Abdullah Kardash, as Kardash is a Turkmen word means brother.
He was born in Tal Afar district, 70 km northwest of Mosul, in 1976, had other names, such as (Professor Ahmed) and (Al-Haj Abdullah). Quraishi was a Turkmen, the third ethnicity in Iraq following Arabs and Kurds. His father was a preacher for Al-Furqan mosque in Mosul, and his mother was called Samira Sharif. He was borught up in in a religious family.
Kardash was married and had a son, Muhammad Saeed, and two brothers. The eldest brother Amer was a university professor who was killed in 2007 while working for Al-Qaeda in the Muthanna neighborhood of Mosul.
The other was Adel, who resides in Turkey, a leader in a prominent Iraqi Turkmen party.
Kardash graduated from Tal Afar Preparatory School for Boys, then joined the College of Sharia (religious law, part of Islamic tradition) and graduated as a preacher from the College of the Imam Aazam in Mosul, appointed by the Endowments at the Ajil al-Yawar Mosque in the middle of the old market in the center of Tal Afar.
He left Iraq in 2001 to Afghanistan for military training and religious studies
In 2001, Kardash joined the Salafi Jihad Movement at the hands of Abd al-Rahman Shikhlar, known as (Abu Ala), and left to Afghanistan for military training and religious studies. Then he returned to Iraq after six months and was arrested by the security apparatus during the era of Saddam Hussein's regime. After 17 days of detention, he was released.
Following the toppling of Saddam Hussein regime in April 2003, he joined al-Qaeda and pledged allegiance in 2004, and was working in issuing fatwas (legal opinion on a point per Islamic law) and religious issues. After the security forces took control of Tal Afar, he fled to the city of Mosul, settled there, and took the position of the organization's legal official on the left (west) side of Mosul.
Then he was promoted to a member of the Shura (Islamic consultation) Council, before his leg injury in one of the confrontations with the US-led forces inside Mosul.
Captured by US forces in 2006
In 2006, US forces arrested him and was impriosned in Bucca prison in Basra, southern Iraq, to meet al-Baghdadi there. Three years later, he was released and returned to Mosul and once again become one of the key leaders of the extremist organization in Nineveh.
The security services in Tal Afar accuse him of killing hundreds of civilians and the security services, both officers and affiliates, and of leading a special detachment to kill the Shiites of Tal Afar, who used to go to Mosul to complete state department issues or healthcare during the years 2009-2014.
After 2014, he was the first to receive al-Baghdadi in Mosul, then he assumed leadership of the regions east of the Euphrates River, from Iraq and Syria, then the Emir of the (Public Security Bureau) in the organization, then the minister of (booby-traps and suicide bombers), and news leaked about his management of negotiations between ISIS And the Turkish government regarding the employees of the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, as he personally transported them from Mosul until they arrived in Turkey safely.
Kardash slowly took steps toward the position of Al-Baghdadi's military deputy in 2016, thanks to his ferocity, extremism, and persuasion.
He was wounded in the right leg in the Syrian battles of Baghouz. In August 2019, he reached the top of the organization and revealed his leadership, according to sites loyal to the organization, including Aamaq Agency, where he had a strong relationship with al-Baghdadi that spanned for about 13 years, including three years in prison.
Kardash was arrested by the Americans in 2006
Kardash appeared alongside al-Baghdadi in a video broadcast by the organization in April 2019. Senior figures of ISIS revealed that Kardash was actually running the organization even before al-Baghdadi’s murder in October 2019.
Why did al-Baghdadi choose Kardash as his successor?!
An expert in the affairs of Islamic groups, Munir Adib, believes that "Washington is at loss how to deal with the ISIS, and for this reason it has allocated big financial rewards for those who provide information on the organization's leaders, starting with its leader, passing through the leaders of the first row, and the leading fighters, who are the ones who we can call them the elite fighters of the organization."
"The idea of placing financial rewards in order to reach the leaders of ISIS or even al-Qaeda is very important, as many years have passed since the announcement of the establishment of the organization in 2014 until the announcement of its elimination in 2019, and the subsequent announcement of the killing of its leader Abu Bakr. Al-Baghdadi, who came based on intelligence information obtained by the US,” he added.
He pointed out that this is what happened with Osama bin Laden as well, “so it seems that Washington wants to follow the traditional way to reach Kardash, and these rewards may pay off.”
However, Adib doubted that Kardash was the real name of the leader of the organization, or just a semantic name for a character or even that he was its leader, as another name was put forward, Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi, stressing, "There is no correct and accurate information about the leader of the organization, but rather there is a dispute over who takes over the leadership of the organization."
"Al-Baghdadi may not have chosen Kardash to lead the organization. He may have been chosen after the killing of Al-Baghdadi in the first place. Kardash is a pseudonym for a figure who may not be known, but who undoubtedly has military experience, and he was associated with Al-Baghdadi and was one of the founders of the extremist organization,” Adib concludes.
"The available information is purely analysis and speculation, in light of the organization's failure to publicly disclose this personality, after its former leader was murdered."
Adib revealed, in his interview with KirkukNow, that "the disagreements within the organization are based on the Islamic jurisprudence adopted by the organization, which changes with the change of time, and not in the military action and the way and nature of the organization's dealings with its opponents."
A report by the Iraqi National Security Agency on the issue of terrorism and extremist groups, revealed on August 8, 2019, states that "Kardash" could move ISIS to a very dangerous stage of indiscriminate violence that affects civilians in a retaliatory manner.”
Qardash is a top wanted
The United Nations Security Council UNSC enlisted the leader of ISIS, Kardash, on the list of sanctions, in a step described by the US as an important step to defeat the organization.
On May 25, 2020, Sanctions Committee of UNSC decided to add Kardash to the sanctions’ list, pursuant to Resolution No. 2368 regarding imposing sanctions agains ISIS and al-Qaeda organizations, for charges of “planning activities on behalf of and financing the two organizations. Al-Mawla played a role in the kidnapping and killing of Yazidi women and human trafficking."
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the UN resolution, and said - in a tweet on Twitter - that it was an "important step taken by the international community to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS."
Earlier, The US State Department in mid-March added Kardash to terrorism list.
In August 2019, the US has allocated five million dollars to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of Kardash, then Washington renewed the reward offer on April 22, 2020.
“Last night at my direction, U.S. military forces successfully undertook a counterterrorism operation. Thanks to the bravery of our Armed Forces, we have removed from the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — the leader of ISIS,” US President Joe Biden said in a tweet on February 3rd.
*This follow-up was posted by KirkukNow in mid-2020 and updated following murder of ISIS leader Kardash (al-Quraishi).