Abdullah Qardash Biography
Al-Haj Abdullah Qardash (also known as Hajji Abdullah al-Afari) is the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), a designated terrorist organization. He assumed the position in October 2019 following the death of ISIS’s previous leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the Barisha raid conducted by the Delta Force of the United States Army. He had already been appointed as al-Baghdadi’s successor in August 2019 and was in control of the day-to-day running of the organisation. He was earlier a religious preacher in Al-Qaeda before joining the Islamic State.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) October 27, 2019
Abdullah Qardash History
Qardash originates from Tal Afar, Iraq. He studied in the Islamic Sciences college in Mosul. He was imprisoned with al-Baghdadi in Camp Bucca in 2003 by US forces, becoming one of his closest companions. Prior to joining ISIS he had been an officer within the regime of Saddam Hussein.
My LATEST alongside @NaveedAJamali—As back-to-back US ops in Syria killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi & spox Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, @Newsweek learns Abdullah Qardash is next to take the helm, even tho appears Baghdadi no longer running the show https://t.co/btTiy7JmaM pic.twitter.com/yE5rwcK3Nv
— 𝕋om 𝕆’ℂonnor (@ShaolinTom) October 27, 2019
Abdullah Qardash Former Officer of Saddam Hussein
ISIS ‘already has a new leader’ barely a day after former chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died ‘like a dog’ in US strikes as the former Saddam Hussein army officer takes the terror group’s reins.
Abdullah Qardash – sometimes spelt Karshesh – was said to have been nominated by the now deceased al-Baghdadi to run the group’s ‘Muslim Affairs’, as reported by Newsweek.
Little is known about Qardash, who once served under Saddam Hussein.
Not to burst your bubble or anything but 1. Al-Baghdadi was no longer the leader of ISIS. As recently as Aug 9th, the leader of ISIS is Abdullah Qardash. And 2. Should I remind you what you tweeted about Pres Obama after they killed Bin Laden ? https://t.co/CTFh7qYahC
— Etan Thomas (@etanthomas36) October 27, 2019
Abdullah Qardash as New Leader of ISIS and Criminal History
But he is understood to have already taken over a number of duties from al-Baghdadi prior to his demise this week when he detonated a suicide vest.
An official told Newsweek: ‘Baghdadi was a figurehead. He was not involved in operations or day-to-day.’
‘All Baghdadi did was say yes or no—no planning.’
It comes as experts have warned the IS and the extremist jihadist movements have over the last one-and-a-half decades repeatedly shown resilience after the death of key leaders.
And their militants, battle-hardened by years of fighting, remain in place around the world.
#Baghdadi‘s successor & #IslamicState‘s new leader is Abdullah Qardash, a #Turkmen from #TalAfar nicknamed the “Professor” & the “Destroyer” who served as an officer in #SaddamHussein’s army & imprisoned together w/ Baghdadi at #Basra‘s #CampBucca in 2003.https://t.co/IMya6Yn46A
— Aykan Erdemir (@aykan_erdemir) October 27, 2019
The group may have been ready for the death of Baghdadi and after an initial adjustment period of a few months could even use it as a rallying case for launching new attacks, they added.
Jean-Pierre Filiu, a professor in Middle East studies at Sciences-Po in Paris, said his death represented a huge setback for IS, which at the height of its success in 2014 proclaimed a new ‘caliphate’ across parts of Iraq and Syria.
‘But it is not certain that such a symbolic loss will fundamentally affect the operational direction of Daesh (IS), which has long been in the hands of seasoned professionals,’ he told AFP.
‘In this respect, his demise could in the long run have even less impact than the killing of Osama bin Laden did on Al-Qaeda.’
Bin Laden, who masterminded the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States, was killed in an American raid in Pakistan in May 2011.
But his death did not stop Al-Qaeda affiliates staging attacks and taking part in conflicts across the world, such as the Al-Nusra front group in northern Syria, or the development of IS itself into a global extremist network.
‘The most likely outcome is that the death of Baghdadi leads to a moment of silence and a pause in terror attacks’ Hisham al-Hashimi, a Baghdad-based specialist on extremist movements said.
This was the case after the killing in 2010 of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the former head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, from which IS emerged, he said. The Al-Qaeda group needed some four months to ‘re-activate its operations’.
While welcoming Baghdadi’s death as a milestone in the fight against terror, European leaders emphasised that his group had not been entirely vanquished, in contrast to Trump’s gung-ho rhetoric.
‘The battle against the evil of Daesh is not yet over,’ warned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. French Defence Minister Florence Parly vowed to ‘continue the fight relentlessly’ against the group.
Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group which follows jihadist media, said the history of the jihadist movement showed it was able to overcome the deaths of leaders such as the former chief of Al-Qaeda in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, killed by a US air strike in 2006.
Ten weeks ago, the ISIS “news” agency Amak announced that Abubaqr al-Baghdadi had appointed a successor. The successor named was Abdullah Qardash, an Iraqi of Turkoman descent. https://t.co/npyjb2fEo6 pic.twitter.com/eAxhGGToFI
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) October 27, 2019
‘ISIS has illustrated its operational resiliency, and will definitely capitalise on Baghdadi’s death for recruitment and calls for attacks,’ she wrote on Twitter.
Earlier today the president touted the operation and al-Baghdadi’s death as ‘bigger than bin Laden.’ Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda and the terrorist leader behind the September 11 terrorist attacks, was killed in 2011 during a Navy SEALs operation during Barack Obama’s presidency.
‘This is the biggest there is. This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was big, but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center. This is a man who built a whole, as he would like to call it, a country,’ Trump said, referencing al-Baghdadi’s creation of the Islamic State.
Abdullah Qardash Key Points
— ELINT News (@ELINTNews) October 27, 2019
- Trump announced Sunday morning that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead
- The U.S.-led forces descended on al-Baghdadi’s lair in Idlib, Syria overnight
- Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children
- Analysts have said that al-Bagdadi’s death represents a ‘huge setback for IS’
- They also warned group will use his death to recruit more people to their cause
- Abdullah Qardash, who served under Hussein, thought to be the new ISIS leader