In a massive development, the Iraqi Intelligence Service on Thursday announced that it has arrested the possible successor to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The National Intelligence Service told the Iraqi News Agency that it has captured Abdul Nasser Qardash. As per reports, Qardash led ISIS's last major battle in Baghouz, Syria, which began in February 2019 and had closely worked with ISIS founder Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. He had served as a religious commissar for Al Qaeda before joining ISIS.
However, the Iraqi Intelligence has not provided any details of the arrest. Qardash was reported to be an Iraqi of Turkmen origin from the Telafar region near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. In October last year, US President Donald Trump announced the elimination of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by the US forces in the north-west Syrian region of Idlib.
Qardash was reportedly also a part of deceased Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's military and was jailed along with al-Baghdadi in Camp Bucca, a US-run prison in Iraq following the invasion in 2003. Camp Bucca is termed as the breeding ground for ISIS as the prisoners, some of who also fought in Soviet Union, organised themselves there and further radicalised others. According to reports, al-Baghdadi led the prayers, delivered the summons and even gave religious lessons in the camp.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was reportedly born in the Iraqi city of Samarra in 1971. He joined Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and rose to a high rank after the faction broke away to form ISIS. He then declared himself the Caliph of the old Caliphate from the Al -Nuri mosque in Mosul in 2014. After taking the leadership, al-Baghdadi captured major parts of Syria after a civil war broke in the country in the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2010. In April this year, another video was released in which he was seen in the public first time after declaring the caliphate. In the propaganda video, Al Baghdadi was seen sitting cross-legged alongside Kalashnikov. He then spoke for 18 minutes in the video and said that their battle is a long one. He had also praised the Easter bombing terror attack in Sri Lanka that killed 250 people.