Turki al-Binali

Bahraini-born Turki al-Binali was ISIS’s chief religious advisor. He also worked to recruit foreign fighters for ISIS from the Gulf.“Treasury Sanctions Key ISIL Leaders and Facilitators Including a Senior Oil Official,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, February 11, 2016, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0351.aspx;
Kenzi Abou-Sabe and Robert Windrem, “ISIS Leader Who Approved Sex Slaves Killed by U.S. Airstrike,” NBC News, June 2, 2017, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/isis-leader-who-approved-sex-slaves-killed-u-s-airstrike-n767581.
Binali was designated as a terrorist by the United States,“Treasury Sanctions Key ISIL Leaders and Facilitators Including a Senior Oil Official,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, February 11, 2016, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0351.aspx. the European Union,“COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2016/647,” EUR-Lex, April 25, 2016, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32016R0647. and the United Nations,“Security Council ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Adds Five Entries to Its Sanctions List,” United Nations, April 20, 2016, http://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sc12332.doc.htm. and was stripped of his Bahraini citizenship in January 2015.“ISIS Leader Al-Binali: A terrorist who moves freely,” Bahrain News Agency, January 31, 2015, http://mirror.no-ip.org/news/20325.html. Although there was speculation that Binali might succeed ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani following reports of Adnani’s death in August 2016,Eric Schmitt, Rukmini Callimachi, and Anne Bernard, “Spokesman’s Death Will Have Islamic State Turning to Its ‘Deep Bench,’” New York Times, August 31, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/world/middleeast/syria-isis-adnani.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur&_r=1. he was reportedly passed over for the role and “confined to a mere role of religious authority” instead.Kenzi Abou-Sabe and Robert Windrem, “ISIS Leader Who Approved Sex Slaves Killed by U.S. Airstrike,” NBC News, June 2, 2017, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/isis-leader-who-approved-sex-slaves-killed-u-s-airstrike-n767581. Binali was killed by a coalition airstrike in Mayadin, Syria, on May 31, 2017.“Coalition forces killed Turki-al-Bin’ali,” CENTCOM, June 20, 2017, http://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/PRESS-RELEASES/Press-Release-View/Article/1220221/coalition-forces-killed-turki-al-bin-ali/.

Binali reportedly studied at the Islamic and Arabic Studies College in Dubai.“Senior IS member's citizenship revoked,” Gulf Digital News, February 1, 2015, http://archives.gdnonline.com/NewsDetails.aspx?date=04/07/2015&storyid=395096;
“ISIS Are Among Us: From Puppets in The Hands Of The Government To Rebels Against It (2),” Bahrain Mirror, November 17, 2014, http://mirror.no-ip.org/news/20291.html.
He was also believed to have studied under late al-Qaeda ideologue Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi.Eric Schmitt, Rukmini Callimachi, and Anne Bernard, “Spokesman’s Death Will Have Islamic State Turning to Its ‘Deep Bench,’” New York Times, August 31, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/world/middleeast/syria-isis-adnani.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur&_r=1. Between 2010 and 2014, Binali taught religion at various schools in Bahrain.“Senior IS member's citizenship revoked,” Gulf Digital News, February 1, 2015, http://archives.gdnonline.com/NewsDetails.aspx?date=04/07/2015&storyid=395096; “ISIS Are Among Us: From Puppets in The Hands Of The Government To Rebels Against It (2),” Bahrain Mirror, November 17, 2014, http://mirror.no-ip.org/news/20291.html. According to another report, however, Binali left Bahrain for Libya in 2013 in order to recruit for ISIS.Giorgio Cafiero, “Meet the likely successor of Islamic State’s Baghdadi,” Al Monitor, September 14, 2016, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/09/turki-binali-bahrain-islamic-state-successor-baghdadi.html#ixzz4KKYgDJW4. ISIS militants celebrated Binali’s arrival to Syria on social media on February 28, 2014. Within a few weeks, Binali was reported to have assumed responsibility for issuing ISIS’s fatwas.“Senior IS member's citizenship revoked,” Gulf Digital News, February 1, 2015, http://archives.gdnonline.com/NewsDetails.aspx?date=04/07/2015&storyid=395096;
“ISIS Are Among Us: From Puppets in The Hands Of The Government To Rebels Against It (2),” Bahrain Mirror, November 17, 2014, http://mirror.no-ip.org/news/20291.html.
He was also reported to maintain an active social media presence in order to propagandize for ISIS.Giorgio Cafiero, “Meet the likely successor of Islamic State’s Baghdadi,” Al Monitor, September 14, 2016, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/09/turki-binali-bahrain-islamic-state-successor-baghdadi.html#ixzz4KKYgDJW4.

As ISIS’s chief religious advisor, Turki al-Binali was believed to direct the group’s Research and Fatwa Department, which has released pamphlets outlining the religious justifications for raping female Yazidi slaves.Eric Schmitt, Rukmini Callimachi, and Anne Bernard, “Spokesman’s Death Will Have Islamic State Turning to Its ‘Deep Bench,’” New York Times, August 31, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/world/middleeast/syria-isis-adnani.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur&_r=1. Binali also produced multiple recorded lectures attempting to justify ISIS’s actions.“Coalition forces killed Turki-al-Bin’ali,” CENTCOM, June 20, 2017, http://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/PRESS-RELEASES/Press-Release-View/Article/1220221/coalition-forces-killed-turki-al-bin-ali/. In April 2014, Binali published an essay arguing that an Islamic army does not need complete territorial control before declaring a caliphate. According to the New York Times, the essay was in large part responsible for ISIS’s decision to declare a caliphate in June. In July 2014, Binali appeared in a video instructing worshippers in a Syrian mosque to pledge allegiance to ISIS’s caliph (leader), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Binali authored numerous papers for the terror group, including:“ISIS Are Among Us: From Puppets in The Hands Of The Government To Rebels Against It (2),” Bahrain Mirror, November 17, 2014, http://mirror.no-ip.org/news/20291.html.

  • “Raise your hands to pledge allegiance to Al-Baghdadi”
  • “Obligations of joining the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”
  • “The permissibility of declaring the caliphate before the achievement of full political capability”
  • “Wording of Al-Adnani interpretation: The Islamic State catapult”
  • “Demonstrating the arguments showing the difference between the men of the Islamic State and the Kharijites”
  • “Brief statement on requesting the emirate rule”
  • “The Benefits of refuting Abu Qatada”

As a senior member of ISIS, Binali recruited foreign fighters from the Gulf and provided literature and fatwas for presentation at ISIS training camps. He was believed to have written the “first call” for Muslims to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to the U.S. Treasury,“Treasury Sanctions Key ISIL Leaders and Facilitators Including a Senior Oil Official,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, February 11, 2016, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0351.aspx. and was also believed to have been a “close confidant” of Baghdadi himself.“Coalition forces killed Turki-al-Bin’ali,” CENTCOM, June 20, 2017, http://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/PRESS-RELEASES/Press-Release-View/Article/1220221/coalition-forces-killed-turki-al-bin-ali/. After chief ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani was killed in an airstrike in August 2016, there was speculation that Binali would be the successor for the role.Eric Schmitt, Rukmini Callimachi, and Anne Bernard, “Spokesman’s Death Will Have Islamic State Turning to Its ‘Deep Bench,’” New York Times, August 31, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/world/middleeast/syria-isis-adnani.html. However, noting that he had not been featured in official ISIS propaganda in two years, other reports speculated that he had instead been marginalized and given a diminished role.Kenzi Abou-Sabe and Robert Windrem, “ISIS Leader Who Approved Sex Slaves Killed by U.S. Airstrike,” NBC News, June 2, 2017, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/isis-leader-who-approved-sex-slaves-killed-u-s-airstrike-n767581.

On June 20, 2017, the U.S. Central Command confirmed that Binali was killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on May 31, 2017, in Mayadin, a city in eastern Syria’s Deir ez-Zor Governorate.“Coalition forces killed Turki-al-Bin’ali,” CENTCOM, June 20, 2017, http://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/PRESS-RELEASES/Press-Release-View/Article/1220221/coalition-forces-killed-turki-al-bin-ali/. Previously, his death had been reported by ISIS supporters on social media, but had not been confirmed by official sources.Tim Lister, Hamdi Alkhshali, and Paul Cruickshank, “Top ISIS figure killed in Syria,” CNN, June 1, 2017, http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/01/middleeast/top-isis-figure-killed-in-syria/index.html;
Kenzi Abou-Sabe and Robert Windrem, “ISIS Leader Who Approved Sex Slaves Killed by U.S. Airstrike,” NBC News, June 2, 2017, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-terror/isis-leader-who-approved-sex-slaves-killed-u-s-airstrike-n767581.

 

United States

The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated “Turki Mubarak Abdullah Ahmad al-Binali” as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) on February 11, 2016, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.“Treasury Sanctions Key ISIL Leaders and Facilitators Including a Senior Oil Official,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, February 11, 2016, https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl0351.aspx.

European Union

The European Union added “Turki Mubarak Abdullah Ahmad Al-Binali” to its list of Natural persons on April 25, 2016.“COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2016/647,” EUR-Lex, April 25, 2016, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32016R0647.

United Nations

The United Nations Security Council added “Turki Mubarak Abdullah Ahmad al-Binali” to its ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List on April 20, 2016.“Security Council ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Adds Five Entries to Its Sanctions List,” United Nations, April 20, 2016, http://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sc12332.doc.htm.

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