The United States has named Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla, the new leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). The announcement was made by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo at a news briefing in Washington on Tuesday. In a press statement, the State Department said that the announcement is part of a larger comprehensive effort to defeat ISIS in coordination with the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
"We have completely destroyed ISIS’s so-called “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, and we are taking the fight to its branches and networks around the world. This whole-of-government effort is destroying ISIS in its safe havens, denying its ability to recruit foreign terrorist fighters, stifling its financial resources, countering the false propaganda it disseminates over the internet and social media, and helping to stabilize liberated areas in Iraq and Syria so the displaced can return to their homes and begin to rebuild their lives," the statement said.
Back in October, US President Donald Trump had announced the death of the wanted terrorist Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi by the hands of special teal of elite US forces. Following al-Baghdadi's death, al-Mawla succeeded him to become the leader of the dreaded group. Al-Mawla was active in ISIS’s predecessor organization, al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), and steadily rose through the ranks of ISIS to become the deputy Emir.
The US says Al-Mawla helped drive and attempt to justify the abduction, slaughter, and trafficking of Yazidi religious minorities in northwest Iraq and oversees the group’s global operations. When ISIS marched through much of Iraq and Syria in 2014, Yazidis were captured and brutalised as part of a campaign to target non-Sunni Muslims.