The New Shift of Terrorists [Fragment 1]

People in democracies are used to governments coming and going, one minister replacing another, and the process can be quite rapid. […] However, terrorist organisations are no strangers to changes of leadership. In these countries, however, the change of the reins is more often initiated by the US or other countries’ militaries.

This was the end of the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October 2019.

The Islamic State announced the appointment of its new leader on 31 October 2019, less than a week after Baghdadi’s death, naming one Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.

Not much was known about Qurashi. There were only a few guesses, which caused concern among the supporters of his organisation, and there were even accusations that the new “caliph on paper” was an “unknown nothing”.

The amount of information now available has increased a little. What is known for certain is that the new Caliph, whose real name is said to be Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, was arrested and interrogated by US forces in 2008, and three of the 66 tactical interrogation reports have now been made available. […]

Abu Khayr al-Masri was considered the most likely candidate to be the next leader, but almost immediately it became known that this would not be possible, as he had already been assassinated on the streets of Tehran in August of that year, probably by Israeli agents.

Next in line for the throne of Al Qaida is Saif al-Adel – Sword of Justice – whose real name is Mohamed Salah al-Din Zaidan. Born in Egypt in the 1960s, al-Din is said to have had good relations with his neighbours, even with Coptic Christians.

[…] However, the future is not easy to predict. For a start, both the new head of the Islamic State in Maul and Al-Qaida’s eventual boss, Adel, are, so to speak, practical people – result-oriented, more deliberative than their predecessors. Moreover, Adel has shown cold calculation before, since it was he who, back in 1999, brought Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – the founder of the Islamic State – to Al Qaida, although Bin Laden was far from enthusiastic about it. […] Today, the focus of attention in Latvia and the world is on the virus, not on terrorism. But viruses and terrorists have more in common than it might first appear. These evil forces are invisible, they come from outside. Few people have seen them with their own eyes, but everyone likes to talk about them a lot. They must not be questioned because the consequences could be fatal. […] When the virus recedes, fear and terror will have to be rediscovered, and both Mawla and Adel are preparing carefully for this.

Fragment from Māris Kūlis. 2021. “Māris Kūlis: Teroristu jaunā maiņa. Kamēr vīruss vēl nav atkāpies, teroristu organizācijas pārstrukturējas = Māris Kūlis: The New Shift of Terrorists. While the Virus is Still in its Retreat, Terrorist Organisations are Restructuring,”

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