Islamic State spokesman reportedly killed in Syria

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Islamic State group spokesman and head of external operations Abu Muhammad al-Adnani is pictured in this undated handout photo, courtesy the U.S. Department of State.  U.S. Department of State/Handout via REUTERS

Islamic State group spokesman and head of external operations Abu Muhammad al-Adnani is pictured in this undated handout photo, courtesy the U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State/Handout via REUTERS

The Islamic State reported Tuesday that its official spokesman and senior leader, Abu Muhammed al-Adnani, was killed in Syria, according to the Associated Press.

The Amaq news agency, considered the Islamic State’s media outlet, tweeted that al-Adnani died while surveying military operations in the city of Aleppo, The Washington Post reported. No cause of death was given.

Al-Adnani’s death has not yet been confirmed, but would be a major blow to the terrorist organization.

The State Department previously offered a $5 million reward for information on al-Adnani. The department’s reward offer called al-Adnani “the main conduit for the dissemination of ISIL messages.”

Al-Adnani was responsible for generating propaganda and inciting threats against the West.

He was also a founding member of the Islamic State militant group and believed to be in line for the group’s top leadership role, currently held by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

It was his voice, in a June 2014 audio recording, that declared an Islamic caliphate under al-Baghdadi.

“Listen to your caliph and obey him. Support your state, which grows every day,” he said.

More recently, al-Adnani purportedly released a May audio recording instructing supporters to make the most of Islam’s holy month, which began in June, Reuters reported.

“Ramadan is coming,” said al-Adnani said “Make sure that every one of you spend it in the name of God and on the attack.”

Al-Adnani’s death would be one of the most high-profile killings of an ISIS official since Abu Omar al-Shishani died — described by the Pentagon as the ISIS “minister of war” — in a U.S. airstrike in March 2016.

 

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