Well, here’s some good news about ISIS for a change.
— CNN (@CNN) August 30, 2016
According to an ISIS-linked media agency, the spokesman is one of the group’s top-ranking lieutenants.
BREAKING NEWS: ISIS claims spokesman killed in Syria https://t.co/ZCwe3oy1mG
— Fox News Alert (@foxnewsalert) August 30, 2016
As CNN notes, it’s unprecedented for ISIS and its news wing to make such an announcement.
And before y’all start saying, “just one guy, what difference does it make?” read on.
Via Business Insider:
The Amaq agency released a statement declaring ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani’s death. ISIS followed Amaq’s statement with an official statement of its own released through its online channels.
Adnani was reportedly responsible for coordinating attacks on targets in the West. He also released propaganda statements on behalf of the group.
Adnani had massive influence inside ISIS.
And he was thought to be a potential successor to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi if Baghdadi were to be killed.
Adnani’s death is a “major blow” to ISIS, according to Rita Katz, a terrorism analyst and the director of the SITE Intelligence Group.
“When calling for lone wolf attacks in [the] West, ISIS fighters/supporters quote Adnani more than any other individual,” Katz said on Twitter.
The Bastille Day attack in Nice, France — during which a man killed more than 80 people after he drove a truck into a crowd — seemed possibly inspired by an Adnani statement from 2014 that called on supporters to kill “infidels” wherever they can.
“If you are not able to find an IED or a bullet, then single out the disbelieving American, Frenchman, or any of their allies,” Adnani said. “Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car, or throw him down from a high place, or choke him, or poison him.”
In addition to being the group’s spokesman, Adnani reportedly oversaw an extensive network of secret operatives dispatched to Europe to conduct targets in the West.
Official channels have so far not confirmed the death, but terrorism experts have stated that the statement from Amaq appears legitimate.
No word yet on exactly how Adnani was killed, but gonna go out on a limb and say it wasn’t kindness or a hug that did it.
Given the centrality of so-called “lone wolf” attacks in the terrorist organization’s next phase strategy, Adnani’s death would certainly appear to be a “major blow” as terrorism experts have noted.
However, we also know that the organization is able to quickly grow new heads where one has been cut off, so this does not mean we will be breathing a sigh of relief any time soon.
One also has to wonder what inspired ISIS to come out and announce this loss…
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]