Who is Abu Ibrahim al-Quraishi, the new head of the Islamic State?

NEW DELHI: The jihadist group confirmed the death of their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and named his replacement as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, a statement released Thursday said.

The new spokesman for the Islamic State, called Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, urged the followers to swear allegiance to the new caliph and addressed the Americans, saying: Do not rejoice.

Do not rejoice in the United States, he warned, the new elected will make you forget the horror you have had ... and will make the achievements of the days of Baghdad taste sweet.

The Shura Council met immediately after confirming the martyrdom of Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The leaders of the Mujahideen agreed, after consulting with their brothers and acting in accordance with the will (of al-Baghdadi), they pledged allegiance to Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as the new leader of the believers, the spokesman added.

The new IS leader identifies himself as a scholar, a well-known warrior and emir of war who has fought against American forces and knows his wars.

Little is known about Hashimi, whose name is rarely mentioned as a possible successor to the multiple times it was reported that Baghdadi was killed in recent years.

We don't know much about him, except that he is the chief judge of the Islamic State and heads the Sharia (Islamic law) committee, said Hisham al-Hashemi, an Iraqi expert in the Islamic State.

Aymenn al-Tamimi, a researcher at Swansea University who focuses on the Islamic State, said the name was unknown but could refer to a leading figure in the Islamic State called Hajj Abdullah, to whom the State Department of States United identified as a possible successor.

An old figure of the rival Islamist group Al Qaeda in Iraq is also known as Mohamed Said Abdelrahman al-Mawla.

Analysts also named the Saudis Abu Abdullah al-Jizrawi and Abdullah Qaradash, Iraqi and one of Baghdad's right-wing men, as potential successors along with Tunisian Abu Othman al-Tunisi.

HA Hellyer, a senior associate member in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the group, also known as ISIS or Daesh, would have chosen the name Quraishi for the successor of Baghdadi to suggest descent from the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad.

The name of the Baghdadi caliph also ended in Quraishi.

ISIS is trying to show its followers that it respects that tradition, but Muslims in general do not care much, given the broad violations of Islamic law with which ISIS has clearly been involved, Hellyer added.

(With agency contributions)

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