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    Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in Raqqa

    Former Physics Teacher Joins Ranks As New ISIL Leader

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    Abu Alaa al-Afri, selected as the new chief of Islamic State, after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi remains injured following an American air raid.

    Abed al-Rahman Mustafa, also known as Abu Alaa al-Afri, has been appointed as the new leader of ISIL following Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s alleged spinal injury following an American air raid in the northwest of Iraq.

    "Afri is the most powerful man in the organization after al-Baghdadi himself," the media reported Dr Hisham al Hashimi, adviser to the Iraqi prime minister on matters concerning Islamic State, as saying.

    "All the leaders find that he has much jihadi wisdom, and good capability at leadership and administration," he added.

    Al Afri was a former physics professor in Tal Afar in Nineveh. He was born in the city of al-Khidr, 80 kilometers south of Mosul, and helped form what would later become Islamic State while serving as a senior commander in al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    According to a report published by the British newspaper The Guardian, he allegedly traveled to Afghanistan in 1998, before rising to the position of senior commanderof al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    He allied himself to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of the organization in 2004. After al-Zarqawi's assassination 2010, he took overall leadership responsibilities for Iraqi operations for the terrorist organization.

    Al Afri is a follower of the prominent jihadi scholar Abu Musaab al-Suri and has a number of publications and religious (shariah) studies of his own, according to media reports.


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