A news release issued on Wednesday by the department noted that Mawla, who is also known as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, Hajji Abdallah, Abu-‘Umar al-Turkmanigoes and a number of additional aliases, assumed the position of Daesh leader following the October 2019 death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
While a $5 million bounty was offered for information on the Daesh leader beginning in August 2019, the State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program decided to up the reward for “information leading to the identification or location” of Mawla to $10 million.
This comes amid rumors that Mawla was killed within the past several days during a US-led drone strike in northern Syria.
Hassan Hassan, director of the Non-State Actors Program at the Center for Global Policy, reported Tuesday that the Daesh leader was using “Ahmed El Darwish” as his fake name and that he was killed earlier this week.
Abu Saad al-Shamali al-Shami Faiz Ukal al-Nuaymi al-Qurayshi, was killed in a drone strike earlier this week. He was traveling under a false name and ID for "Ahmed El Darwish" in areas controlled by the Turkish-backed rebels.— Hassan Hassan (@hxhassan) June 24, 2020
A gruesome video & picture exist but not for sharing. pic.twitter.com/6bnpSDLtcr
“Born in Mosul, Iraq, in 1976, al-Mawla was a religious scholar in [Daesh’s] predecessor organization, al-Qaida in Iraq, and steadily rose through the ranks of [Daesh] to become the deputy emir,” the June 24 State Department release detailed.
“Al-Mawla helped drive and justify the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of members of Yazidi religious minority groups in northwest Iraq, and he oversees the group’s global operations.”
The Daesh leader has been labeled a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” by the State Department since March 2020. This came about some two months after US intelligence identified him by his true name, rather than “Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.”
The designation prohibits US persons from engaging in any transactions with the Daesh leader and freezes his “property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction.”
The United Nations Security Council added the militant leader to its ISIL (Daesh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List in May 2020.
Though many viewed Baghdadi’s October 2019 death as the beginning of the end for Daesh operations in the Middle East, the militant group has continued to carry out attacks and other crimes, particularly around Iraq.
US Lt. Gen. Pat White, commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, told CNN in May that the rise in acts of crime attributable to Daesh forces is related to the needs of “lower-level leaders” to acquire funds and resources.
“They're getting smaller amounts of money than they had in the past, still real money that's being generated but not enough to sustain them,” he claimed.