The Islamic State’s official spokesman Abu Mohammed al-Adnani recently recognized the death of Abu Muslim al-Turkmani the second in command of the organization. Turkmani reportedly died twice before so when the United States said they had killed him a third time in August 2015 it had to be taken with a grain of salt. Now that his death has been confirmed it marks a significant loss for IS and its institutional know how.
On October 13, 2015 Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, the Islamic State’s official spokesman released a new audio recording in which he acknowledged the death of Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, also known as Haji Mutazz, whose real name was Fadel Ahmad al-Hayali. IS and other jihadi groups usually confirm the death of their top leaders so that eulogies and memorials can be issued to rally their base.
The U.S. originally announced the death of Turkmani back in August 2015. On August 18 the National Security Council issued a statement saying that Turkmani was killed in a drone strike while he was driving in a car outside of Mosul. The Americans must have been tracking his movements and gotten some actionable intelligence to carry out the attack and release details of his death.
The problem was this was the third time that Turkmani was allegedly killed. In December 2014 the Americans said that he had died in northern Iraq, and then in February 2015 the Iraqi press reported that the U.S. had killed him again. With that kind of history it was hard to take his third passing at face value.
Now that his death has been confirmed it marks a decided loss for the Islamic State. Turkmani was one of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s top two deputies. He was allegedly the head of the Islamic state’s military council, a member of its Shura and Provincial Councils and was in charge of Iraq. There were also reports that he was involved in finances too. He was also one of many top leaders in IS with a military background having served as a lieutenant colonel in Saddam’s intelligence service and in the Special Forces. He probably helped plan the organization’s comeback in Iraq and the seizure of Mosul. His passing was a real setback in knowledge and experience for the organization.
Shafaq News, “Al Adnani confirms the second in command of Daash killed,” 10/13/15