Washington: The United States has doubled the bounty to USD 10 millions for information leading to the capture of the Islamic State’s (IS) new leader Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahma al-Mawla.
Al-Mawla – also known as Hajji Abdallah and Abu-Umar al-Turkmani – succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi following the latter’s death in a US military operation in October 2019.
The Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Programme increased Wednesday its reward from USD 5 million to USD 10 million for information leading to the identification or location of al-Mawla.
Born in Mosul, Iraq, in 1976, al-Mawla was a senior terrorist leader in IS’ predecessor organisation, al-Qaeda in Iraq. He steadily rose through the ranks to assume a senior leadership role as the IS deputy leader.
“As one of ISIS’ most senior ideologues, al-Mawla helped drive and justify the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of the Yazidi religious minority in northwest Iraq and also led some of the group’s global terrorist operations,” the US State Department said in a statement.
The State Department designated al-Mawla as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’, March 18, 2020. As a result of this designation, US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with al-Mawla, and his property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction will be blocked. In addition, it is a crime to knowingly provide, or attempt or conspire to provide material support or resources to IS.
“This reward is an important moment in our fight against IS and its branches and networks around the world. As IS 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 IS remnants and thwart its global ambitions,” the state department said.
President Donald Trump in October last year announced that al-Baghdadi died after he was chased by the US special forces along with military working dogs. The world’s most wanted terrorist blew up his suicide vest following the US raid on his compound in Syria’s Idlib province.
Al-Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a ‘caliphate’ in areas of Iraq and Syria. IS carried out a number of atrocities that resulted in thousands of deaths.