Islamic State says jihadists in Sinai support new leader
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Islamic State says jihadists in Sinai support new leader

Announcements offer first signs of support from terror group’s global affiliates in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s successor Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi Al-Qurayshi

Illustrative: An Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula holds Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage. (Screen capture/YouTube)
Illustrative: An Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai Peninsula holds Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage. (Screen capture/YouTube)

BEIRUT — A media arm of the Islamic State group reported Saturday that militants from Egypt’s Sinai and Bangladesh have pledged allegiance to the new leader who succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the first sign of support from the organization’s global affiliates.

Nasher news, which carries the group’s news releases, posted pictures of a handful of fighters purportedly from Bangladesh with their faces covered standing under the group’s black flag. Their index fingers were raised to pledge allegiance to new leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi Al-Qurayshi. Other pictures showed operatives purportedly from Egypt’s Sinai with their rifles and index fingers raised. The agency reported they too were pledging allegiance to the new leader.

Baghdadi was killed last week in a US raid in Syria. Al-Qurayshi was named his successor Thursday.

Baghdadi, who led IS 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.

 

The terror group also confirmed on Thursday the killing in another raid the following day of the group’s previous spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir.

The statement said the jihadist group’s legislative and consultative body convened after the 48-year-old Iraqi-born jihadist chief’s death.

The IS spokesman also issued a stark warning to the United States after President Donald Trump announced Baghdadi’s death in a televised address from the White House.

“He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way,” Trump said on Sunday, adding that Baghdad had “died like a dog.”

In the new audio message, the IS spokesman described Trump as “a crazy old man” and warned the US that its supporters would avenge Baghdadi’s death.

“Do not rejoice, America,” he warned, “the new chosen one will make you forget the horror you have beholden… and make the achievements of the Baghdadi days taste sweet.”

TOI staff contributed to this report.

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