A news agency affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) has reported that the extremist group’s leader Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi has appointed the Iraqi Abdullah Qardash as his successor, with conflicting reports about Baghdadi being wounded and his health deteroriating.
A source from the Iraqi Interior Ministry said that Baghdadi was in Syria and that he was suffering from paralysis in his limbs because he was wounded by rocket shrapnel during strikes in Hajin before it was retaken from the group last year.
An Iraqi security expert, Fadel Abu Ragheef, said on Twitter that Qardash was close to Abou Alaa al-Afari, Baghdadi’s deputy who was killed in 2016.
The same source said that the leader was a prisoner in the Bucca prison, like Baghdadi, and had previously been a general sharia judge for al-Qaeda.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.