Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi

Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi was the leader of ISIS and the successor of Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla a.k.a. Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi. Following the death of al-Mawla in February 2022, al-Qurashi was named the new leader of ISIS on March 10, 2022.Agence France-Presse, “IS Names New Leader, Confirms Death Of Abu Ibrahim Al-Qurashi,” Barron’s, March 10, 2022, https://www.barrons.com/news/is-names-new-leader-confirms-death-of-abu-ibrahim-al-qurashi-01646930407?tesla=y. On May 26, 2022, al-Qurashi was reportedly captured in a raid by Turkish anti-terrorism and intelligence agents in Istanbul.Firat Kozok, “Turkey Has Detained Islamic State’s New Leader, Officials Say,” Bloomberg, May 26, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-26/turkey-has-detained-islamic-state-s-new-leader-officials-say; Chris Matthews, “New ISIS leader 'is captured in Istanbul raid' three months after previous chief was killed in US operation,” Daily Mail, May 26, 2022, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10857583/New-ISIS-leader-captured-Istanbul-raid-three-months-boss-killed-operation.html. The reports were never corroborated, but on November 30, 2022, U.S. Central Command confirmed that al-Qurashi was killed in an operation conducted by The Free Syrian Army in mid-October.“Death of ISIS Leader,” U.S. Central Command, November 30, 2022, https://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/PRESS-RELEASES/Press-Release-View/Article/3232259/death-of-isis-leader/.

On February 3, 2022, U.S. Special Forces launched a raid in Atmeh, northern Syria, targeting al-Mawla. At the beginning of the operation, al-Mawla detonated a bomb that killed himself and his family members.“U.S. says Islamic State leader killed in Syria raid,” Reuters, February 3, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-led-coalition-operation-northern-syria-targeted-jihadists-2022-02-03/; “U.S. Announces Death of ISIS Leader in Raid,” New York Times, February 3, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/02/03/world/us-raid-syria-isis. A month later, on March 10, 2022, ISIS released an audio recording in which the group’s spokesperson confirmed al-Mawla’s death and announced the appointment of al-Qurashi. According to the statement, ISIS jihadists “pledged allegiance” to “Abu Hasan al-Hashemi al-Qurashi as an emir over believers and the caliph of Muslims.”Agence France-Presse, “IS Names New Leader, Confirms Death Of Abu Ibrahim Al-Qurashi,” Barron’s, March 10, 2022, https://www.barrons.com/news/is-names-new-leader-confirms-death-of-abu-ibrahim-al-qurashi-01646930407?tesla=y.

The Arab news site Al-Ain has suggested al-Qurashi was a pseudonym for Zaid al-Iraqi, a.k.a. “the ISIS professor” because he oversaw ISIS’s Diwan of Education, the group’s former education bureau when it maintained a physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria.“أبو الحسن الهاشمي.. من هو زعيم داعش الجديد؟,” Al-Ain, March 10, 2022, https://al-ain.com/article/isis-new-leader-education-head.

According to Iraqi and Western security officials, al-Qurashi was allegedly the brother of former ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Al-Qurashi reportedly joined Salafi jihadist groups in 2003 and often accompanied Baghdadi as a personal companion and Islamic legal adviser.“EXCLUSIVE New Islamic State leader is brother of slain caliph Baghdadi – sources,” Reuters, March 11, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/exclusive-new-islamic-state-leader-is-brother-slain-caliph-baghdadi-sources-2022-03-11/?utm_source=iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3872702_. Additionally, al-Qurashi was Baghdadi’s most trusted messenger and often traveled between northern Syria to Istanbul, Turkey, to deliver and retrieve information about ISIS’s operations.Rob Crilly, “Baghdadi's older BROTHER named the new leader of ISIS: The little known sibling of slain terrorist leader who comes from a circle of bloodthirsty Iraqi jihadists made more extreme by the 2002 US invasion,” Daily Mail, March 11, 2022, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10603017/New-Islamic-State-leader-brother-slain-caliph-Baghdadi-sources.html. Prior to being named the new caliph, al-Qurashi served as the leader of ISIS’s five-member Shura Council. The group determines who will succeed a leader when they are killed or captured.“EXCLUSIVE New Islamic State leader is brother of slain caliph Baghdadi – sources,” Reuters, March 11, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/exclusive-new-islamic-state-leader-is-brother-slain-caliph-baghdadi-sources-2022-03-11/?utm_source=iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3872702_. Security services last tracked al-Qurashi’s location to be in northwestern Syria after he returned from Istanbul in April 2020.Rob Crilly, “Baghdadi's older BROTHER named the new leader of ISIS: The little known sibling of slain terrorist leader who comes from a circle of bloodthirsty Iraqi jihadists made more extreme by the 2002 US invasion,” Daily Mail, March 11, 2022, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10603017/New-Islamic-State-leader-brother-slain-caliph-Baghdadi-sources.html.

On May 26, 2022, media sources reported that al-Qurashi was allegedly captured in a raid by Turkish anti-terrorism police and intelligence agents in Istanbul, Turkey.Chris Matthews, “New ISIS leader 'is captured in Istanbul raid' three months after previous chief was killed in US operation,” Daily Mail, May 26, 2022, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10857583/New-ISIS-leader-captured-Istanbul-raid-three-months-boss-killed-operation.html. The information of al-Qurashi’s capture was reportedly provided by senior Turkish officials. According to reports, the senior officials claimed the operation was conducted following a lengthy police surveillance of a house al-Qurashi was staying in.Firat Kozok, “Turkey Has Detained Islamic State’s New Leader, Officials Say,” Bloomberg, May 26, 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-26/turkey-has-detained-islamic-state-s-new-leader-officials-say.

Reports of al-Qurashi’s capture were never confirmed, and on November 30, 2022, ISIS announced the death of al-Qurashi. In an official statement, the group claimed the deceased leader was killed in action but offered no other explanation regarding his death. The statement also declared Abu al-Hussain al-Hussaini al-Qurashi as the new leader of the terrorist group.Rachel Hagan, “ISIS leader 'killed in action' as murderous group names its new caliph,” Mirror, November 30, 2022, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-isis-leader-killed-action-28621464. That same day, U.S. Central Command confirmed that al-Qurashi was killed in an operation conducted by The Free Syrian Army in Dar’a province in mid-October.“Death of ISIS Leader,” U.S. Central Command, November 30, 2022, https://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/PRESS-RELEASES/Press-Release-View/Article/3232259/death-of-isis-leader/.

According to ISIS scholars, the late leader’s real name was either Nour Karim Matani or Sayf Baghdad, the latter surname an indication that he once commanded ISIS’s operations in Baghdad. Additionally, there is a possibility al-Qurashi spent time in U.S. custody—likely from 2003 to 2010 during the war in Iraq—given that U.S. CENTCOM confirmed his identity via DNA samples. Sources also allege that al-Qurashi’s family was deeply embedded within ISIS’s Rawi Network—an ISIS financial facilitation group that has moved substantial funds for the terror group across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.Charles Lister, “ISIS leader’s death raises intriguing questions,” Middle East Institute, December 5, 2022, https://www.mei.edu/publications/isis-leaders-death-raises-intriguing-questions; “Treasury Designates Key Nodes of ISIS’s Financial Network Stretching Across the Middle East, Europe, and East Africa,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, April 15, 2019, https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm657.

Also Known As

Extremist entity
ISIS
Type(s) of Organization:
Insurgent, territory-controlling, religious, terrorist, violent
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Islamist, jihadist, pan-Islamist, Salafist, takfiri
Position(s):
Caliph (deceased)

ISIS is a violent jihadist group based in Iraq and Syria. The group has declared wilayas (provinces) in Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the North Caucasus. ISIS has also waged attacks in Turkey, Lebanon, France, Belgium, Iraq, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Tunisia, and Kuwait.

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On February 26, 2015, a Boko Haram suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a market in Biu, Nigeria, killing 19 people and injuring 20 others. A second attempted-suicide bomber was caught and beaten by a crowd before he was able to carry out his attack.

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