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US doubles bounty for ISIS leader to $10 million amid rumors he died in US drone strike

Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla. (U.S. State Department photo/Released)
June 25, 2020

The U.S. bounty for information leading to the identification or location of ISIS’s new leader Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahma al-Mawla has risen to $10 million on Wednesday.

The U.S. State Department announced the increased bounty for al-Mawla in a Wednesday press release. The $10 million figure represents a doubling of the bounty, first set at $5 million in August 2019.

The reward for al-Mawla was raised after rumors circulated on Tuesday that he had been killed by an American-led drone strike in an ISIS-controlled area of northern Syria, Fox News reported.

“Al-Mawla — also known as Hajji Abdallah and Abu-‘Umar al-Turkmani — succeeded Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the leader of ISIS following Baghdadi’s death during a U.S. military operation in October 2019,” the State Department press release states. “Al-Mawla helped drive and justify the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of members of Yazidi religious minority groups in northwest Iraq, and he oversees the group’s global operations.”

The State Department release linked to al-Mawla’s reward page on its Rewards for Justice website.

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“REWARD DOUBLED!! Now up to $10 million for information on ISIS leader al-Mawla. If you have information on al-Mawla, please contact RFJ or the nearest US embassy. HELP BRING THIS TERRORIST TO JUSTICE!,” Rewards for Justice also tweeted Wednesday.

Baghdadi, the previous leader of ISIS, was killed in a U.S. special operations raid in Syria in October 2019.

A day after the raid against Baghdadi, the top ISIS spokesman and likely successor to Baghdadi was also killed in a U.S. airstrike.

Since the raid that took out Baghdadi, the U.S. has been working to track down the terror group’s likely successor and remaining leadership structure. In a leaked ISIS audio recording in October, members of the terror group named Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi as the man to take over after Baghdadi’s death.

Little was known about Qurayshi’s identity until January, when reports speculated the Qurayshi identity may have been the nom de guerre or “war name” that al-Mawla had used in his time with ISIS.

“Born in Mosul, Iraq, in 1976, al-Mawla was a religious scholar in ISIS’s predecessor organization, al-Qaida in Iraq, and steadily rose through the ranks of ISIS to become the deputy emir,” the State Department’s Wednesday release said, providing further details about al-Mawla’s identity and personal history.

The Rewards for Justice image for al-Mawla also indicated he has gone by the name Abdul Amir Muhammad Sa’id Salbi.