The Islamic State announced on Wednesday November 30 in an audio clip of nearly 10 minutes of its spokesman Abu Muhajir al Hashimi al Qurachi, the death of its Caliph. Abu al Hassan al Hachimi al Qurachi was killed during a fight whose location was not specified, said Wassim Nasr, a journalist at France24 and specialist in jihadist movements.
Of Iraqi origin like Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the first leader of the Islamic State killed by the United States in October 2019, Abu al Hassan al Hachimi al Qurachi replaced his compatriot Abu Ibrahim al Hachimi al Qurachi after his death in February 2022 in northern Syria during an operation by U.S. special forces.
Very discreet like his predecessor, Abu al Hassan al Hachimi al Qurachi arrived at the head of the Islamic State at a time when the jihadist organisation is expanding in the world, particularly in Africa where it has seven “provinces,” while it is losing momentum in the Syrian-Iraqi area where it was proclaimed in June 2014.
In March this year, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), which was attached to the “West Africa Province” under the authority of a Nigerian “wali” (governor), was promoted to a fully-fledged province and claims to operate under the name of the Islamic State in the Sahel (IS). Since March, EIS has concentrated its actions in northern Mali, between the regions of Gao and Ménaka, killing several hundred civilians, human rights organisations say.
In the same vein, the Mozambican branch has been detached from the province of the Islamic State in Southern Africa, where it was operating under the leadership of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), radical Ugandan Islamists based in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In northern Nigeria, mainly in the Lake Chad Basin, the Islamic State in West Africa is increasing its attacks on Nigerian armed forces and attempting to take over territory.
According to several experts, this expansion policy decided by the central command of the jihadist organisation will continued regardless of who the leader is. Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurachi has already been replaced by a “veteran of jihad,” Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurachi, the Islamic State spokesman said, calling for “allegiance” to the new Caliph.