Islamic State names Baghdadi’s successor

Islamic State names Baghdadi’s successor

Agency News

The Islamic State group is mourning the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and has announced a successor in a new audio release.

The group identified the new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi in the audio released on October 31 by the IS central media arm, al-Furqan Foundation.

"We mourn you ... commander of the faithful," said Abu Hamza al-Quraishi - presented as the militant group's new spokesman - in an audio statement.

Baghdadi, who led Islamic State since 2014 and was the world's most wanted man, was killed in a US Special Forces raid in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib on Sunday. US officials confirmed on Monday that Baghdadi's body was buried at sea.

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

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