UPDATE 1-U.S. looking at new ISIS leader and role in organization -U.S. officialReuters | Washington DC | Updated: 01-11-2019 23:47 IST | Created: 01-11-2019 23:46 IST
The United States is looking into the new leader of the Islamic State to determine his role in the organization and where he came from after a U.S. raid last month killed its former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Nathan Sales, the U.S. counter-terrorism coordinator, said on Friday.
"Any time there is a leadership transition in the terrorist organization, we want to make sure that we have the latest information that we need to have to confront the threat," Sales told a briefing. Islamic State in an audio tape posted online on Thursday, confirmed that its leader Baghdadi was killed in a weekend raid by U.S. special forces in northwestern Syria, and vowed revenge against the United States.
The group, also known as ISIS, said a successor to Baghdadi identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi had been appointed. Earlier on Friday, Trump tweeted about the new leader. "ISIS has a new leader. We know exactly who he is!" he tweeted, without elaborating further.
Baghdadi had risen from obscurity to lead the ultra-hardline group and declare himself "caliph" of all Muslims, holding sway over huge areas of Iraq and Syria from 2014-2017 before Islamic State's control was wrested away by U.S.-led coalition forces including Iraqis and Syrian Kurds.