Amir Mohamad Abdel Rahmane al-Maoula al-Salbi (left) is said to be the new leader of Daesh. - US STATE DEPARTMENT

One of the founders and main ideologues of the jihadist group Daesh has been identified by several intelligence services as the successor of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi at the head of the organization, the British daily newspaper The Guardian said on Monday.

Shortly after Baghdadi's death in an American operation in late October in Syria, Daesh had designated Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurachi as the new "Caliph of Muslims". But the latter was unknown to analysts, some even doubting its existence, and a senior American official calling him "perfect stranger".

According to The Guardian , which quotes officials from two unspecified intelligence services, the organization is now headed by Amir Mohamad Abdel Rahmane al-Maoula al-Salbi, one of the group's founders and "considered one of its ideologues ”.

One of the rare non-Arab leaders

Originally from a family from the Turkmen minority in Iraq, he is one of the few non-Arabs in the leadership of Daesh. A graduate of the University of Mosul, he is said to have played a key role in the persecution of the Yazidis, an ancestral religious community targeted in Iraq by the jihadists in 2014.

Amir Mohamad Abdel Rahmane al-Maoula al-Salbi has been on the list of "most wanted terrorists" by the United States since August 2019, which offers up to $ 5 million for information allowing him to be captured. He is presented on the ad hoc website of the US State Department as "a potential successor to the head of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi".

US President Donald Trump announced on October 27 the death of al-Baghdadi in a raid the previous night in northwestern Syria, a few kilometers from the Turkish border. Since he had proclaimed himself, in 2014, “caliph” of a territory which counted up to seven million inhabitants, straddling Iraq and Syria, Baghdadi had become the most wanted man of the world.

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