World

Pentagon Confirms ISIS Spokesman Killed

| by Michael Doherty
The Pentagon seen from above.The Pentagon seen from above.

The Pentagon has confirmed that Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, a spokesman and senior leader for ISIS, was killed in an airstrike in Syria.

The airstrike was carried out on Aug. 30, targeting al-Adnani, who had been a key propagandist and recruiter for the terrorist organization, as well as planned operations that the group carried out, according to Fox News. ISIS' news agency, Amaq, announced al-Adnani's death a short time after the airstrike.

Al-Adnani , 39, was reportedly one of the ISIS leaders who personally picked which violent execution videos the terror group released. In May, the U.S. State Department posted a $5 million reward for information on the ISIS leader, according to The Huffington Post.

"It is one in a series of successful strikes against ISIL leaders, including those responsible for finances and military planning, that make it harder for the group to operate," said Peter Cook, press secretary for the Pentagon, about the airstrike.

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Adnani advocated "lone wolf" attacks against westerners by members of the Islamic State. In a 2014 speech, he called for members of the group to kill Europeans using whatever means were available, telling followers, "Smash his head with a rock, or slaughter him with a knife, or run him over with your car."

Researcher Javier Lesaca, from George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs, said that al-Adnani was largely responsible for ISIS' online propaganda which has given the group thousands of foreign recruits.

"He managed to understand the importance of strategic communications in terrorism," said Lesaca. "Adnani transformed terrorism into a digital marketing strategy."

ISIS said that it would take revenge for al-Adnani's death, stating that a generation that had been raised in ISIS-held territory would fight against the west. Over the past year, the terrorist group has lost a large part of its territory, as well as a number of its leaders. In July, Omar al-Shishani, a key military leader for the group, was confirmed as having been killed.

The United States had confirmed earlier that al-Adnani​ had been targeted in a strike, but it had not confirmed the terrorist leader's death until now. Russia had also taken credit for the air strike that killed al-Adnani, saying on Aug. 31 that it had carried out that strike.

Sources: Fox News, The Huffington Post / Photo credit: David B. Gleason/Flickr​

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