Erbil, Kurdistan Region – On Thursday, Abu Ala al-Afri (aka Abdul Rahman Mustafa al-Qardashi), Chairman of the Shura Council and coordinator of the Islamic State’s (IS/ISIS) provinces in Iraq, was reportedly appointed as deputy of the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Al-Afri’s appointment came after the removal of Abu Ali Anbari from the deputy position.
Al-Afri is of Iraqi origin, from the al-Hadar area (80 km south of Mosul) who used to work as a teacher of physics. He traveled to Afghanistan in 1998, before holding a senior position in al-Qaeda.
He was nominated by former leader of al-Qaeda Osama bin Laden to be Emir of al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2010, after the killing of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub al-Masri.
The current Caliph of the IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has recently tightened his grip on the financial and military positions, according to IS-linked sources.
Earlier this week, al-Baghdadi redistributed positions to some close officials of the group, naming his closest friend, Sheikh Noman Salman Mansour al-Zaidi, as Minister of War, while Colonel Samir al-khilefawi (known as Haji Bakr) was appointed as a military advisor, Abdullah Yusuf al-Khatooni as the caliph’s personal advisor, and Fadel Hayali (aka Abu Muslim Turkmani) as deputy of IS in Iraq.
“After appointing Sheikh Abdul Rahman Mustafa (al-Afri) as head of the Shura Council, all the surrounding circle of members of al-Baghdadi became Iraqis. He does not trust foreign militants,” said Karrar Abdalkhaliq, an Iraqi political activist.
Reporting by: Raman Yousef
Source: ARA News
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