In an almost simultaneous operation with the raid against the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), American forces also targeted and killed the terrorist group’s spokesperson.
According to reports, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) drone struck the convoy that was carrying ISIS’ spokesperson US on the early morning hours of Sunday, resulting in his death.
The ISIS terrorist was reportedly slated to become the next leader following the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS. Al-Baghdadi was killed in the late hours of Saturday during a Delta Force operation.
General Mazloum Kobane, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement that “continuing the previous operation, terrorist Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, the right-hand man of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and an ISIS spokesman, was targeted in the village of Ayn al-Bayda, near Jarablus, in direct coordination between SDF intelligence and the U.S. military.”
Muhajir, whose nationality remains unknown, assumed his duties as the ISIS spokesperson in 2016, following the death of his predecessor in a Coalition airstrike. The place of his death is located within Turkish-held territory.
The charred remains of the ISIS spokesperson (Rojava Network).
The terrorist group, however, is said to have already found its new leader Abdullah Qardash. This raises questions about the actual role of al-Baghdadi in the organization. His isolation and restrictive lifestyle (no electronic footprint) meant that he couldn’t exert proper control, much like Usama bin Laden after he fled into Pakistan. Nonetheless, his death is a symbolic victory – and probably more than that depending on what the operators managed to gather during the Sensitive Site Exploitation (SSE) phase of the operation.
Many are lauding Delta, the rest of the assault force, and the support assets for the success of the operation. But not many are praising the men and women who stalk in the shadows and make things happen. The men and women of the intelligence community who gather, process, and analyze the intelligence that results in national headlines. The success of both operations – and of so many others – is their success.
Echoing these views, the Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, a retired Vice Admiral and Navy SEAL, said in a statement that “I want to thank our intelligence professionals and special operations forces for bringing one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists to justice. I am incredibly proud to support the men and women of the Intelligence Community, whose efforts over the last two decades have led to the disruption of terrorism around the globe. Their steadfast dedication to ensure the safety and security of Americans at home and abroad is unwavering.”