How Did the Islamic State Pick Its New Leader?

The world’s most wanted man, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, may be dead at the paws of Conan the Hero Dog, but the ISIS crisis isn’t over. Just three days after the killing of the so-called Islamic State’s leader, the group issued a statement announcing the name of his successor as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurashi. Like his predecessor, he assumed the title of caliph, or successor to the Prophet Mohammed. In other words, he sees himself as the legitimate ruler of all Muslims—a claim that most of the world’s 1.8 billion Islamic faithful will find either deeply offensive or hilariously corny, but that the Islamic State cult’s own members are deathly serious bout. (An unofficial English translation has been posted online by Aymenn al-Tamimi, a British-Iraqi expert on the Islamic State.) So who is the new guy? The short answer is: we don’t know. Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurashi is a nom de

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