Al-Mawla, also known as Hajji ‘Abdallah, ‘Abdul Amir Muhammad Sa’id Salbi, and Abu-‘Umar al-Turkmani, is the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader. He was a religious scholar in ISIS’s predecessor organization, al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), and steadily rose through the ranks to assume the role as the leader of ISIS.
He succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the leader of ISIS following Baghdadi’s death during a U.S. military operation in October 2019. On March 18, 2020, the Department of State designated al-Mawla as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
As one of ISIS’s most senior ideologues, Hajji ‘Abdallah helped drive and justify the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of the Yazidi religious minority in northwest Iraq and is believed to oversee some of the group’s global terrorist operations.
In June 2014, ISIS, also known as Da’esh, seized control of portions of Syria and Iraq, self-declared a so-called Islamic “caliphate,” and named al-Baghdadi as “caliph.” In recent years, ISIS has gained the allegiance of jihadist groups and radicalized individuals around the world, inspiring attacks across the globe.
This reward is an important moment in our fight against ISIS. As ISIS is defeated on the battlefield, we are determined to identify and find the group’s leaders so that the global coalition of nations fighting to defeat ISIS can continue to destroy ISIS remnants and thwart its global ambitions.