WASHINGTON - Some Islamic State supporters are starting to rally around the terror group’s new leader, using social media to pledge their allegiance to a man whose true identity may not be known for some time.
IS announced the selection of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as its new leader Thursday in an audio message issued by its Amaq news agency and read by the group’s new spokesman.
“He is a flag of the flags of jihad, and a scholar of its scholars, and an emir of the emirs of war,” the voice said, according to a translation by SITE Intelligence, which monitors jihadist communications.
Qurashi “has attacked the protector of the Cross America, and made it taste bad,” the voice added.
The announcement, which also confirmed the deaths of IS’s self-declared caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, caused what some analysts described as a ripple of excitement on social media and online messaging boards frequented by IS supporters.
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