ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has recently admitted extensive differences among the terrorist group’s commanders, acknowledging that he has lost his position, one of his relatives said.
The Arabic-language al-Qaza newspaper quoted Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, al-Baghdadi’s cousin, as saying on Thursday that in his latest meeting with the ISIS leader, he admitted that all of his aides have rebelled against him and differences among high ranks have gone so wide that the Arab and foreign commanders are plotting a coup now.
The cousin has confessed to the Iraqi judiciary officials that al-Baghdadi’s bodyguard has transferred him from al-Sha’afah region in Eastern Deir Ezzur to an area 10 to 15 minutes away which hosted the ISIS ringleader’s nearly 150-square-meter hideout.
Al-Badri added that al-Baghdadi has started developing wrath at the Tunisian and Saudi members of the ISIL for sowing discord among the terrorists and for their extremist behavior, and disclosed that the ISIL ringleader is sufferring acute illness and his left ear had also undergone surgical operations in Albu Kamal region in Syria.
Earlier, Head of the Iraqi parliament’s Security Committee Sadeq al-Hosseini had said that the ISIS had lost 13 of its emirs (senior commanders) and is now facing a vacuum in the leadership.
Relevant reports said last month that al-Baghdadi had chosen one of the Iraqi commanders of the terrorist group in Mosul as his successor.
The Arabic-language Baghdad al-Youm news website affiliated to the ISIS quoted Fazel Abu Raqif, an Iraqi security expert, as saying that Abdollah Qardash, one of the inmates in Bouka prison near the town of Um al-Qasr in Iraq and the Mufti of al-Qaeda, was adopted as al-Baghdadi’s successor.
He added that Qardash was one of the dangerous commanders close to Baghdadi, noting that he was the first person who joined the ISIS leader after Mosul’s collapse.
His remarks came as reports said late in July that al-Baghdadi was hiding in Syria after he was paralyzed in Iraq’s recent anti-terror operations.
“Al-Baghdadi together with a number of his Arab and foreign aides are presently in Syria as he is feeling too much danger after several ISIS commanders were killed in Iraqi Army’s military operations on ISIL’s hideouts in Western Iraq,” Head of Iraq’s Intelligence Forces Abu Ali al-Basri told the Arabic-language al-Sabah newspaper.
He noted that al-Baghdadi was taken a defensive position under threat by Iraq’s intelligence forces, escaping battle with the Syrian and Iraqi armies.
Al-Basri noted that al-Baghdadi was still very much popular among his foreign, Arab and Iraqi militants, and said that the ISIS leader is now replacing some his commanders after he lost a number of his militants and aides in a joint military operation by the Iraqi intelligence forces and the Syrian Army.
He reiterated that al-Baghdadi had been paralyzed after he sustained a spinal cord injury in the Iraqi forces’ attack on a meeting between him and his aides in al-Hojin region before the ISIL left the region in 2018.