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DEAD: ISIS Leader Who Organized Attacks On Christians

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Islamic State released a statement Tuesday saying its lead spokesman, Abu Muhammed al-Adnani, was killed near Aleppo, Syria.

Adnani was arrested by U.S. forces in Iraq for being a member of al-Qaida in Iraq in 2005, and spent nearly five years in prison. Upon his release, Adnani pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Bagdadi, then leader of AQI, and now the leader of ISIS.

Adnani rose to chief spokesman of ISIS, frequently encouraging lone wolf attacks in the West, particularly on non-believers. Rita Katz, of Site Intelligence group, tweeted after the announcement of Adnani’s death that ISIS supporters calling for lone wolf attacks cite Adnani more than any other terrorist.

The circumstances of Adnani’s death are unknown, and have not been confirmed by the U.S. government. Jeff Seldin, defense correspondent for Voice of America, noted on Twitter that the Pentagon stated on August 16 it had not carried out strikes near Aleppo for “quite some time.” Seldin speculated that this could indicate the U.S. was not responsible for his death.

Adnani was the head of an elite special operations branch within ISIS that is creating a network of hundreds of foreign fighters who are actively planning multiple coordinated attacks across Europe. His death is a significant logistical and propaganda blow to the terrorist group.

In his last public speech Adnani advised would-be terrorists in the West that attacks on civilians were “dearer and better for us” than battlefield victories for ISIS.

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