An ISIS terrorist possibly selected to lead the organization after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been arrested in Iraq, according to state-run media.
“Today, the terrorist called Abdel Nasser Qardash, the candidate to succeed the criminal al-Baghdadi, has been arrested,” security services told the Iraqi News Agency on Wednesday, Egypt’s Sada El-Balad reports.
Turkey’s state-run Andalou Agency also reported that Qardash was behind bars after an intelligence-led operation.
Some reports hinted that he had already been arrested in a previous raid in Syria, possibly involving U.S. troops — and Wednesday’s announcement just noted his transfer to Iraqi custody, Arab News noted.
Qardash was thought to be the successor for ISIS ringleader al-Baghdadi, who blew himself up when U.S. special forces pounced on his Syrian hideaway in October.
Qardash had been al-Baghdadi’s second-in-command and groomed as a likely successor, according to numerous reports.
But other reports indicate Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi is now in charge, with confusion over whether that was just a different name used by Qardash.
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