The United States on Tuesday placed the new leader of the Islamic State group on its blacklist of terrorists, naming him as Amir Mohammed Abdul Rahman al-Mawli.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that al-Mawli was named leader of the ultra-violent group after an October raid by US commandos killed its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The organization had earlier named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi as its new head, but US officials acknowledged they knew little about him — and later came to believe that the Islamic State group was using his nom de guerre.
Al-Mawli “was previously active in al-Qaeda in Iraq and is known for torturing innocent Yazidi religious minorities,” Pompeo said.
“We ve destroyed the caliphate and we remain committed to ISIS s enduring defeat no matter who they designate as their leader,” he said.
A US-led coalition, spearheaded on the ground by Syrian Kurdish fighters, crushed the Islamic State s so-called caliphate that once stretched for vast stretches of Iraq and Syria — but the group has inspired attacks much farther afield.
Al-Mawli was named a specially designated global terrorist, putting him on a list created after the September 11, 2001 attacks that makes any support to him a crime in the United States.
The State Department has already issued a $5 million bounty for information leading to al-Mawli s capture.
A scholar in Islamic sharia law, al-Mawli rose through the ranks by issuing edicts to justify the persecution of the Yazidi, a campaign that the United Nations has described as genocide.