From Bahrain with jihad

The Russian military Friday said it might have killed the Islamic State’s chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a claim that has not yet been verified.

Published: 19th June 2017 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2017 12:27 AM   |  A+A-

The Russian military Friday said it might have killed the Islamic State’s chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a claim that has not yet been verified. But there is no uncertainty over the death of another IS leader—its Bahrain-born chief mufti—killed in an US-led coalition airstrike on May 29

A scholar-in-arms
In 2013, Cole Bunzel, a Princeton scholar who studies the IS, noticed a cleric preaching under many pseudonyms defending the IS. By 2014, he had come to Syria and unveiled himself as Turki al-Bin‘ali, the IS’s ‘scholar-in-arms’

Under a Salafist in Saudi Arabia
Born in 1984 into a wealthy family connected to the ruling Khalifas, Bin‘ali began his religious studies early. He spent time in Saudi Arabia in the early 2000s where he studied under Abdullah Ibn Jibreen, a member of Saudi’s Council of Senior Scholars who followed the state-sanctioned Salafism

Falling out with his mentor al-Maqdisi
He then studied under al-Qaeda ideologue Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. When the IS set a Jordanian pilot on fire in 2015, Maqdisi wrote, “Jihadi-Salafism is innocent of these acts. They (IS) have distorted the jihadi current.” Bin‘ali, who had fallen out with his mentor, slammed him in a polemic titled “Maqdisi: Falling in the Mud and Abandoning the Religion”

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