Abu Hamza al-Qurashi

Abu Hamza al-Qurashi is the spokesman for ISIS. He has served in that role since October 2019, making major announcements for the terror group.Rukmini Callimachi and Eric Schmitt, “Isis Names New Leader as It Confirms Al-Bagdadi’s death,” New York Times, October 31, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/31/world/middleeast/isis-al-baghdadi-dead.html; “Islamic State names its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi,” BBC News, October 31, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50254785.

Qurashi replaced former ISIS spokesman Abu Hasan al-Muhajir, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in late October 2019 in Syria shortly after the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, “Baghdadi’s successor likely to be Iraqi religious scholar,” CNN, October 29, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/28/politics/isis-leadership-contender-al-mawla/index.html; Isabel Coles, Nazih Osseiran, and Jessica Donati, “Islamic State Spokesman Killed in U.S. Airstrike,” Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/islamic-state-spokesman-targeted-in-u-s-airstrike-say-kurds-11572268364; “Islamic State group names its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi,” BBC News, October 31, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50254785. On October 31, 2019, Qurashi announced Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi—a.k.a. Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla—as the new leader of ISIS. He declared that ISIS’s shura council had met quickly after Baghdadi’s death to select his replacement and called on Muslims to pledge allegiance to the new leader.Rukmini Callimachi and Eric Schmitt, “Isis Names New Leader as It Confirms Al-Bagdadi’s death,” New York Times, October 31, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/31/world/middleeast/isis-al-baghdadi-dead.html; “Islamic State names its new leader as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi,” BBC News, October 31, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50254785.

On January 27, 2020, Qurashi delivered an audio speech, distributed by ISIS’s al-Furqan Media, calling for ISIS’s followers around the world to travel to the nearest ISIS province and join a training camp. Qurashi called for the slaughter of “the Jews inside Palestine and outside of Palestine” and wherever they can be found. Qurashi further called on followers to increase strikes against ISIS’s enemies using snipers, IEDs, silencers, and boobytraps.“ISIS Spokesman Dismisses Trump’s Declarations Of Annihilating ISIS, Declares War On Israel: 'Oh Soldiers Of The Caliphate Everywhere... Go For The Israeli Settlements And Marketplaces; Turn Them Into Lands For Testing Your Weapons... Attack The Jews And Slaughter Them,’” MEMRI, January 27, 2020, https://www.memri.org/reports/isis-spokesman-dismisses-trumps-declarations-annihilating-isis-declares-war-israel-oh.

On May 28, 2020, Qurashi released a message extending greetings from Mawla and calling for ISIS’s followers to continue their war of attrition.Hassan Hassan, Twitter post, May 28, 2020, 11:38 a.m., https://twitter.com/hxhassan/status/1266031106253565958. Qurashi referred to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 as a divine punishment for the “crusaders” who are now facing the same misery ISIS has faced through lockdowns and bodies in the streets. Qurashi said the virus has distanced ISIS’s enemies and kept them occupied and promised “big changes in the region that’ll offer greater opportunities than” ISIS “previously had in the past decade.”Hassan Hassan, Twitter post, May 28, 2019, 10:54 a.m., https://twitter.com/hxhassan/status/1266019995659702273; Hassan Hassan, Twitter post, May 28, 2019, 11:01 a.m., https://twitter.com/hxhassan/status/1266021717169917959; Hassan Hassan, Twitter post, May 28, 2019, 11: 34 a.m., https://twitter.com/hxhassan/status/1266030188934115333.

Qurashi released an audio recording on October 18, 2020, through ISIS’s official Telegram channel calling for the overthrow of “tyrannical” Arab rulers. The statement was released in the midst of normalization agreements between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain with Israel. The move by the UAE and Bahrain promises complete normalization of diplomatic, commercial, security, and other relations with Israel in exchange for Jerusalem suspending annexation of occupied West Bank territory. Qurashi further called on ISIS operatives and supporters in Saudi Arabia and Africa to attack Western citizens and interests.“Spotlight on Global Jihad (October 15-21, 2020),” The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, October 22, 2020, https://www.terrorism-info.org.il/en/spotlight-on-global-jihad-october-15-21-2020/; “In response to normalization … ISIS calls for attacks in the...,” Al Khaleej Today, October 19, 2020, https://alkhaleejtoday.co/saudi-arabia/5139962/In-response-to-normalization-%E2%80%A6-ISIS-calls-for-attacks-in-the.html; Jonathan Hoffman, “Why Gulf nations are normalizing ties with Israel,” Washington Post, September 24, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/09/24/why-gulf-nations-are-normalizing-ties-with-israel/; Peter Baker, Isabel Kershner, David D. Kirkpatrick and Ronen Bergman, “Israel and United Arab Emirates Strike Major Diplomatic Agreement,” August 13, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/13/us/politics/trump-israel-united-arab-emirates-uae.html.

Qurashi’s nationality is unknown but Arabic-speaking observers suspect he is Iraqi based on his dialect.Hassan Hassan, Twitter post, May 28, 2020, 2:03 p.m., https://twitter.com/hxhassan/status/1266067678642536449.

 
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