ISIS has begun reasserting itself in Iraq and Syria under a new leader assessed to be an Iraqi operative who was a driving force behind the terror group’s genocide against the Yazidi people, according to a report submitted to the UN Security Council which was made public on Wednesday.
The wide-ranging report, compiled by the UN Monitoring Team that tracks the global jihadi terror threat, refers to the group by its alternate name stating the “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), following its loss of territory, has begun to reassert itself in both the Syrian Arab Republic and Iraq, mounting increasingly bold insurgent attacks, calling and planning for the breakout of ISIL fighters in detention facilities and exploiting weaknesses in the security environment of both countries.”
It has been clear for some time that one reason for ISIS’s resilience is its deep pockets, with overheads reduced now the group no longer administers a large state. The report said that according to one of the more conservative assessments by UN member states, ISIS still has $100 million in reserves.
“The period from July to September 2019 saw a speeding up of the reconstitution of ISIS as an undercover system in the Syrian Arab Republic, reflecting what had occurred in Iraq since 2017. Liberated of the obligation of shielding an area, there was an eminent increment in assaults in beforehand calm territories held by the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic around the nation,” the report expressed.
The report noticed: “The outskirts among Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic remain insufficiently verified, permitting some development of contenders between the two locales. Ongoing improvements east of the Euphrates have prompted an expansion of ISIL action in Dayr al-Zawr and Hasakah Governorates and a spike in assaults focusing on the United States drove alliance and nearby non-State equipped gatherings.”
The report, which is based on information from UN member states, revealed that several of those states assess the new leader of ISIS is Amir Muhammad Said Abdal Rahman al-Mawla, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s deputy. It cautions the information has not yet been confirmed.
For months mystery surrounded the real identity of ISIS’s new leader. A few days after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a US raid in Syria in October, ISIS named its new ‘caliph’ as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, a jihadi alias not then known among counter-terrorism analysts.
In its announcement the terrorist group provided no meaningful detail that might provide clues about his real identity.
After Baghdadi was killed and before ISIS named its new leader, CNN reported that some analysts believed al-Mawla would likely take over the leadership of the group.
The finding that ISIS is recovering under another pioneer difficulties the story exuding from the White House. Prior this month President Donald Trump expressed, “A quarter of a year back, in the wake of decimating 100% of ISIS and its regional caliphate, we killed the savage head of ISIS, al-Baghdadi, who was liable for so much passing, including the mass decapitations of Christians, Muslims and all who hindered him.”
Be that as it may, the UN discoveries equal the evaluation of senior US counter-fear mongering authorities. “Nobody believes that just with the downfall of the physical caliphate that Daesh is done, ” Jim Jeffrey, the US Special Representative for Syria and the Coalition to Defeat ISIS expressed in a question and answer session a week ago, utilizing an elective name for ISIS. Jeffrey included that there were somewhere close to 14,000-18,000 ISIS warriors “dynamic among Syria and Iraq.”
“They have appeared in the past some reconstitution in Iraq, especially in the region of Diyala and Kirkuk regions. Also, toward the south of the Euphrates, in regions where the Syrian system ought to be mindful yet to a great extent isn’t, they’ve been very dynamic. So we are concerned,” he expressed.
The alliance’s capacity to keep up pressure on ISIS has been confused by the aftermath from the January 3 US ramble strike at Baghdad universal air terminal which slaughtered the leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani and a main Tehran-supported Iraqi volunteer army officer. In his news gathering a week ago, Ambassador Jeffrey expressed that “Alliance activities have been fundamentally on delay in Iraq as we center around power security.” as a result of worry over potential backlash assaults by ace Tehran state armies.
“After some time, clearly, there is a probability of a corruption of the exertion against Daesh in case we’re not ready to do the things that we were doing so successfully up until half a month prior,” Jeffrey included.
The UN report clarifies Trump’s choice last harvest time to draw down powers in Syria has made a more serious danger of escapes by the a large number of ISIS warriors as of now kept by Kurdish powers in northern Syria.
“The decrease of powers of the United States of America has raised worries among Member States with respect to the capacity of security powers presently dynamic in the north-east of the Syrian Arab Republic to keep up satisfactory authority over an anxious populace of kept ISIL contenders, just as relatives.”
The report assessed 10,000 male warriors stay in these offices, including 2,000 outside psychological militant contenders and cautions female prisoners are assuming a main job in radicalizing those confined in the offices. The report expressed “the current extemporized holding course of action are a formula for radicalization and depression, particularly on account of minors.”
On October 22, during the turbulent period which followed the Turkish attack into Kurdish controlled territories of northern Syria and the US declaring it was drawing down soldiers in the region, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told CNN, “Of the 11,000 or so prisoners that were in detainment facilities in upper east Syria, we’ve just had reports of somewhat in excess of a hundred that have gotten away.”
As indicated by the UN report, the quantity of escapees wound up being higher. “Part States gauge that few hundred people related with ISIL, including contenders, got away from their facilities in October, in spite of the fact that it isn’t clear what number of were redetained, what number of stayed everywhere and whether there was any noteworthy change to the related risk.”
A Genocidal Ideologue
If al-Mawla is one and the same as “al-Qurashi” and is the new leader of ISIS, he is likely to become one of the world’s most wanted men. In August the US State Department’s Rewards for Justice program offered a reward of up to $5 million for al-Mawla’s capture, describing him as a “potential successor” to Baghdadi, while listing an alias as “Hajji Abdallah.”
This assessment persisted after Baghdadi’s demise. The day before ISIS announced their new leader in late October, Russell Travers, the acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testified that Hajji Abdallah was a potential successor.
The State Department listing further stated that Mawla/Hajji Abdallah, “was a religious scholar in ISIS’s predecessor organization, al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), and steadily rose through the ranks to assume a senior leadership role for ISIS. As one of ISIS’s most senior ideologues, Hajji Abdallah helped drive and justify the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of the Yazidi religious minority in northwest Iraq and is believed to oversee some of the group’s global terrorist operations.”
Much of the Yazidi community lived in Sinjar which is close to what some analysts believe was Mawla’s hometown of Tal Afar in northern Iraq. In 2014, after ISIS had taken Tal Afar and Mosul, the group enslaved thousands of Yazidi women and children and murdered thousands of Yazidi men, in what the United Nations has called a genocide.
The 2019 “declaration” of a previous ISIS usable which was documented by the analyst Aymenn al-Tamimi focuses to Mawla/Hajji Abdallah’s contribution in ISIS’s abuse of the Yazidis.
“The assault was completed on the city of Sinjar and it was vanquished … what’s more, the Yezidis were united and it was said to them: ‘Every one of the men who convert to Islam will be saved from murdering, and the ladies will saved from being abducted’ … Also, the person who gave them the agreement is al-Hajj Abdullah.”
The previous ISIS usable even incorporated a reference clarifying “al-Hajj Abdullah” was Baghdadi’s agent. Tamimi additionally focuses to an interior ISIS record from 2018 in which an individual from the gathering writes to Mawla about an ideological debate. The letter (which for the record utilized the nom de plume al-Hajj Abdullah) over and again depicted him as “the appointee” to Baghdadi.
As CNN has recently detailed, there are recommendations Mawla is of Turkmen starting point. On the off chance that he is, that may have entangled his way to the top employment. Iraqi Arabs have generally overwhelmed ISIS’s administration positions. There were additionally different obstacles Mawla confronted. It is generally accepted among jihadis that any “Caliph” must have certain qualifications.
One is that he should be slid from the Prophet Mohammed’s Quraysh clan. Another is the prerequisite to have huge information on Islamic law. His reputation as a “strict researcher” inside the psychological militant gathering may permit Mawla to convince jihadis of his philosophical family – yet it’s misty that he has Quraysh ancestry.
As indicated by the UN report, Mawla’s “Turkmen ethnicity drove some Member States to survey that he may just be a brief decision until the gathering finds an increasingly authentic “emir,” an immediate relative from the Quraysh Hashemite clan who could along these lines order the full help of the remote territories.”
This brings up the possibility that ISIS are deliberately keeping Mawla’s elevation to the top position secret out of concern he may not be seen by jihadis around the world as a legitimate caliph.
But it is not clear how sustainable this will be for the terrorist group. Although pledges of allegiance have flowed into the new leader from fighters purporting to belong to ISIS satellites around the world, ISIS could risk losing support if they do not provide more biographical detail about their new leader.
“ISIL will face a challenge over the longer term to enthuse its supporters, especially those in more remote locations, about the new leader without putting him in danger by having him communicate more directly and confirm his identity,” the UN report states.
Global threat picture
The image the report paints of the worldwide fear risk picture is that it has decreased in general since 2015-2017 when ISIS despite everything controlled noteworthy swaths of Syria and Iraq and propelled and affected a rush of assaults far and wide. In any case, there is likewise noteworthy worry over the flexibility of ISIS and its overall satellites, just as the potential risk presented by the al-Qaeda organize.
The report expressed that “Al – Qaida associates are more grounded than ISIL in many clash zones, particularly the Sahel, Somalia, Yemen and the north-west of the Syrian Arab Republic.”
It cautioned that in West Africa, the consolidated endeavors of al-Qaeda and ISIS subsidiaries “are undermining the security of delicate Member States in the district.”
The report expressed that “ISIL shows up not to have recovered its outside operational arranging capacity, in spite of the fact that archives have risen in the Syrian Arab Republic concerning an arrangement inside ISIL to reconstitute its office to help agents in Europe with arranging and executing assaults. In spite of shortcomings in the present structure, the danger of an arranged complex assault in Europe, particularly by previous master agents who can work autonomously, is evaluated to persevere.”
It detailed that ISIS “endured a misfortune to its capacity to rouse assaults in November 2019, with the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) activity with a few Internet organizations that brought about the evacuation of enormous amounts of ISIL online material, particularly from Telegram’s texting stage.”
In evaluating the al-Qaeda danger, the report concentrated on Hurras al-Deen (HAD), a gathering of 3,500 to 5,000 al-Qaeda supporters as of now situated in the Idlib region of Syria. “One Member State in the area evaluated that HAD, given its size, philosophy and the abilities of its veterans, displayed a developing danger to harmony and security locally and all around, and that its initiative intends to resuscitate outer tasks focusing on Western and United States intrigues at every possible opportunity.”
The report noticed that “one Member State, be that as it may, featured Al-Qaida’s traditionalist way to deal with consumption and its reliable prioritization of managerial expenses and compensations over activities. The aspirations of Al-Qaida partnered components in Idlib Province to design and execute worldwide assaults are surveyed to be diminished both by the military weight they are under and by Al-Qaida’s hesitance to asset such movement.”
The report said that “Afghanistan keeps on being the contention zone of most noteworthy worry to Member States outside the ISIL center region and endures by certain estimates the heaviest cost from psychological oppression of any nation on the planet. Al-Qaida and outside psychological militant warriors lined up with it, under the assurance and impact of the Taliban, represent a long – term worldwide danger.”
As per the UN relations between al-Qaeda (whose warriors are evaluated somewhere in the range of 400 and 600 in Afghanistan) and the Taliban “keep on being close and commonly valuable, with Al-Qaida providing assets and preparing in return for assurance.” The UN Monitors distinguished a squeezing need for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan: do everything conceivable to ruin a potential harmony bargain in the nation. It noticed that “Al-Qaida is worried about the present focal point of the Taliban initiative on harmony talks. Al-Qaida delegates embraced transport discretion, convincing different groups of the Taliban and field commandants not to help arrangements with the Government of Afghanistan and promising to increment monetary help.”
The psychological militant assault in the region of London Bridge in November 2019 by an indicted fear based oppressor the year after his discharge underlined the risk presented by the numerous psychological militant convicts and radicalized detainees who are expected to be discharged from European penitentiaries in the coming years. As per the report, “a significant number of the outside psychological militant contenders who got generally short sentences upon their arrival to Europe before 2015 are required to be discharged in the coming time frame. Some are still surveyed to be risky. One part state announced that roughly 1,000 returnees were expected for discharge in Europe in 2020.”
The UN report cautioned that “the issue of outside psychological militant warriors stays intense, with Member States proceeding to evaluate that between one half and 66% of the in excess of 40,000 who joined the ‘caliphate’ (single statements) are as yet alive. This is required to irritate the worldwide danger presented by ISIL, and perhaps Al-Qaida, for a considerable length of time to come.”
It has for quite some time been certain that distinguishing and prohibiting ISIS veterans ought to be a key need for the global network. In any case, the report cautions that the “auspicious recognition and distinguishing proof of remote psychological oppressor warriors coming back to Europe is muddled by their different travel courses and measures taken to evade identification.”