Terrorism experts, including DEBKAfile, are skeptical of the name ISIS has put forward as the successor to its dead leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. No trace of the name Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi appears in any former Islamic State references. The speed with which he was named, just five days after the leader was killed by US troops, also raises suspicions. A leadership selection in Islamist terrorist organizations usually takes many months – especially in this case, when Shura Council members are scattered in different hideouts and on the run.
Some experts postulate that 1. Either the published name of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi is fake, an alias masking the new leader’s real identity, or 2. The real leader is the well known Abdullah Qardash, a former Iraqi army officer who was close to Baghdadi from 2005, when they spent months together in the US Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq