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ISIS’s Catapult, Prince of Sham Killed | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An undated image of Abu Mohammed al-Adnani posted online by ISIS supporters on August 31. AP

Dubai- On the 30th of August 2016, news on killing ISIS’ spokesperson Abu Muhammad al-Adnani has been confirmed according to the organization-affiliated agencies Amaq and Haq. This hit was considered the hardest against the extremist organization since the launch of the International Coalition’s operations against it in 2014.

Adnani was not only the spokesperson of ISIS, but also one of the initiators of the attacks in Europe and the United States. In one of his writings, Mubarak al-Benali, former Turkish theorist of ISIS has considered Adnani as the Catapult of ISIS; in fact, this man may be the most dangerous among the organization’s figures, and probably more dangerous than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Adnani used to show up in critical events, such as Anbar’s protest in 2013. He promoted since 2012 the alleged Caliphate of ISIS through his messages and statements.

*Available information

Adnani’s real name is Taha Sobhi Falaha, born in the Northwest of Syria in 1977 in Idlib. He was known as ISIS’ spokesperson since conflict with Al-Nusra Front sparked in 2014, particularly when announcing the split from Nusra and the alleged Caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

While in Iraq, the spokesperson used a fake identity and worked under the name “Hussein Khalaf Nazzal al-Rawi”; he settled in Jordan and aligned with the extremist group led by Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi.

In one of Benali’s translated writings, he pointed that Adnani was first recruited by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before he moved to Iraq.

*Media appearances

Regarding Adnani’s media appearances, we mention the following:

1-His media appearance started in 2011, as he focused his interest on Iraq. He broadcasted a voice message in February 2012 entitled “Iraq, Iraq, People of Sunnis” that aimed at provoking the Sunni extremism against the Shi’ite.

2- His most prominent appearance followed Anbar’s protest on the 30th of January 2013, where he invested the sufferings of Sunnis. He appeared as the spokesperson of ISIS in Iraq and called Sunnis to revolute against the oppression of Maliki and to support al-Qaeda.

3- On 12 March 2014, he verbally attacked Zawahiri, criticized him, and accused him of reconciliation with Iran. On 29 June 2014, Adnani announced the Caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and compelled radical movements to pledge allegiance to him.

*Adnani’s education

As many of ISIS and Qaeda leaders, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani didn’t receive a sound religious education. He was interested in writings of Ibn Kathir and Imam Shawkani; he was also interested in jurisprudence of Jihad, biography and history.

According to Benali, Adnani also read literature and Arab poetry like Al-Mutanabbi. However, it is worth mentioning that the writings of the Turkish theorist on the spokesperson included many overstatements.

On another hand, Benali did not mention that Adnani followed any Sheikhs in Syria, but he said he received education from “Abu Anas al-Shami”, Zarkawi’s assistant.

*Adnani’s organizational positions

Mubarak al-Benali has mentioned that Adnani joined organizational work since 2000, pledged allegiance to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Syria with 35 other people, and launched their preparations to fight the Christian regime. After the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he moved to fight it, where he met Abu Muhammad al-Lubnani.

According to Benali, the most important positions served by Adnani were the following:
1. Trainer at Haditha Camp during the phase of “Tawhid and Jihad”.
2. Emir (Prince) of Haditha, appointed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
3. Trainer at Jazeera Camp.
4. Spokesman of ISIS.
5. Spokesman of ISIS’ alleged Caliphate.

Benali has revealed that ISIS’s spokesperson was arrested three times by Syrian security forces, and twice by U.S. forces in Iraq, where he met followers of Zarqawi. According to the Turkish theorist, Adnani enjoyed significant authority in recruiting extremist members, launched fighting operation in Haditha with 13 people and succeeded in conquering it.

Finally, the strong strategy adopted by the International Coalition has undoubtedly succeeded in eliminating ISIS leaders and in enforcing the regression of this extremist organization given that Abu Muhammad al-Adnani was considered as the second Zarqawi and the ISIS mastermind.