Sources on March second 2023 have revealed that Daesh senior and de-facto leader (Caliph) Ali Jassim Salman al-Jubouri, known as “Kufush” or “Abu Sara al-Iraqi,” was killed in a coalition strike on the 24 Febuary 2023 in Syria. The same source goes on to discuss how there was a foolish plan from senior Daesh media officials to claim that Abu Sara was actually a commander for Hurras al-Din. Believing that such a strategy would sow discord between HTS and other independent Jihadist groups. It is believed that this was the same strategy as employed in 2021 following the death of official spokesperson Abu Hamza al-Quraishi.
It is believed that this will be an extreme blow to the organization and could create internal paralysis. This is down to Abu Sara’s central role as likely head of all internal and external portfolios and potential head of the organization. A study published by Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, described Abu Sara as the architect of its extended global network. He allegedly became involved in the violent movement following the US invasion of Iraq and worked his way up the ranks. This lead to him eventually taking over the running of the Office for all of Daesh’s global affiliates in 2020. His death will be a major blow for the group as he is believed to be the only remaining leader from the “first generation”.
This blow follows on from the recent killing of Daesh leader in Iraq, Abu Khadija and points to a serious lack of proficient leadership. Combined with the ongoing scandal in Syria, with the leadership failing to resolve the appalling conditions for its members in Al-Hol camp and not providing the required support for families and widows. The source also claims that the Iraqi faction is so weak that they have had to make secret dealings with opposition factions to try and maintain their security.
Kafush hails from the village of Salman, in the districts of Salah al-Din Governorate. He joined Ansar al-Sunna in the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq. The thing that helped Kafush gain legitimacy was his relations with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. After declaring the alleged caliphate in 2014, he climbed the leadership hierarchy and seized the position of Emir of the Office of Distant States in June 2020.
Kafush took advantage of his position to control the organization and make decisions for his own purpose. According to the source, Kafush played a pivotal role in the continuity of Iraqi domination of power and was the reason for the outbreak of disputes between the affiliates. As other defectors from ISIS revealed in the media, Kafush played a key role in the organization’s finances and looting policies. Thus, it becomes clear the reason for the miserable attempt of ISIS media professionals to cover up the news completely for fear of a wave of defections.
ISIS tried to fabricate the news of Kafush’s death in 2020 and claim that he was killed alongside Ali Sawadi in a coalition landing operation. At that time, an Iraqi journalist obtained an exclusive photo of Kafush and his men. A copy of this photo was circulated during the past year, after it became clear to researchers and followers of the matter that Kafush is alive.
Yet again another senior leader was killed in Syria. This foolish decision seems illogical as their is clearly no safety there. But if we understand the poor position of Daesh in Iraq maybe it is more clear. In Iraq Daesh have lost virtually all support and rely on corrupt deals and hypocrisies just to stay alive, they do not have loyal soldiers and most are bought with money to betray their brothers for the “cause” is obviously lost! The strategy the source claims has been that the Iraqi leaders seek to sow discord between rival factions in Syria so that they can maintain their presence in the country. However they are easily identifiable and all others can see that their is no benefit to remaining loyal to these cowards.