The CIA has targeted Islamic State militant group (ISIS) spokesperson Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir in a new operation that comes one day after the organization’s leader was killed in a Joint Special Operations Command raid, Newsweek has learned.
President Donald Trump confirmed Sunday that Baghdadi had died during the Delta Team raid first reported by Newsweek the night before. The jihadi leader detonated a suicide vest as U.S. forces sought to kill or capture one of the world’s most wanted men and, as the president announced it to the world, Hellfire missiles targeted Muhajir by Ayn al-Bayda, near Jarablus in Aleppo province.
Syrian Democratic Forces commander Mazloum Abdi, also known as Mazloum Kobane, also reported on the news Sunday.
“Continuing the previous operation, terrorist Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, the right-hand man of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and an ISIS spokesman, was targeted in the village of Ayn al-Bayda, near Jarablus, in direct coordination between SDF intelligence and the U.S. military,” Kobane said.
Muhajir was named ISIS spokesperson in 2016 after his predecessor, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, was killed in a U.S. airstrike, also in Aleppo. Unlike Baghdadi and Adnani, who were known to be Iraqi and Syrian nationals, respectively, and were openly active in Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Muhajir’s identity was publicly unknown, though his nickname—meaning “emigrant”—suggested he may be a foreigner.