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The New Arab Staff

US doubles bounty on new Islamic State leader

Intelligence given to the US identified his real name Muhammed Saeed Abd al-Rahman al-Mawla [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 September, 2020

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A $5 million bounty for information leading to the arrest of the new Islamic State leader has been doubled, US authorities said on Thursday.
The United States has doubled an offer to aware up to $10 million for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest of what it called the new leader of the Islamic State militant group.

The US State Department’s official Arabic-language Rewards for Justice account announced the bounty on Twitter, describing the new militant leader, Haji Abdullah, as a terrorist involved in "shedding the blood of innocent people and killing and kidnapping Iraqi and non-Iraqi civilians.”

The post also labelled the militant as a “traitor” that “revealed the identities of his fellow terrorists”, referring to reports of his alleged cooperation with US forces during his detention in Iraq’s Bucca prison.

Intelligence given to the US in 2008 by the new IS leader, identified by his real name Muhammed Saeed Abd al-Rahman al-Mawla, reportedly led to the killing of several al-Qaeda members, according to documents released by the US government.

Intelligence provided at the time included the names of 88 al-Qaeda fighters as well as information on the structure of al-Qaeda in Iraq’s Mosul, three Tactical Interrogation Reports (TIR) released by the Combating Terrorism Centre (CTC) revealed.

The Iraqi national also uses other names such as Abu Omar al-Turkmani and Abd al-Amir Muhammad Saeed al-Salbi.

He was born in Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Governorate, northern Iraq, in 1976.

A $5m bounty was put on his head last year.

IS militants took over much of Syria and Iraq in 2014, massacring thousands civilians and prisoners of war.

They controlled territory equivalent to the size of the UK until a US-backed assault by the Iraqi military, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and other groups saw the last IS outpost in eastern Syria fall last year.

US special forces in October killed the group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi inside Syria.

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