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Paul McLoughlin

IS 'butcher scholar' killed in airstrike

Binali was reportedly killed in a US airstrike in Raqqa [Twitter]

Date of publication: 1 June, 2017

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Turki al-Binali, a 'scholar' who sanctioned the murder and enslavement of thousands of Yazidi women and children, was touted as a future leader of the Islamic State group.
A bloodthirsty jihadi theorist touted as a future successor to Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in a US airstrike in Raqqa, the militant organisation has said.

Turki al-Binali was undoubtedly responsible for the deaths of thousands as a direct result of his "rulings".

Binali, also known as Abu Humam al-Athari and Abu Sufyan al-Salami, was instrumental in the announcement of the "Islamic State" in Syria and Iraq, and the declaration of Baghdadi as its "caliph".

He was a key recruiter of foreign fighters, and his "religious teachings" were used in IS training camps.

Reports suggest his vehicle was targeted in the airstrike.

Binali was sometimes described as the Islamic State group's "grand mufti", and issued some of the group's most brutal and controversial fatwas - sanctioning the mass murder of captives and the enslavement of Yazidi women and children.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the death of a leading IS figure of Gulf nationality but has not yet confirmed the identity.

Another source confirmed that Binali had been killed, but disputed claims that the US had targeted him in Raqqa.

There have been numerous previous claims of the jihadi scholar's death.

Originally from Bahrain, Binali gave a "religious sanction" for militants to kill 700 members of Syria's al-Sheitaat clan and abduct the women and children of the Deir az-Zour-based tribe.

He was later active in Libya, where he urged Sirte residents to pledge allegiance to IS ruler Baghdadi when the group briefly took over the city. 

The move from Syria was rumoured to be due to internal rivalries in the group, with a more extreme wing moving to control IS and expel Binali.

He returned to Raqqa in 2015.

Before this, he was a well-known Salafi-jihadi scholar in the Gulf, having studied in the UAE until he was expelled for his radical teachings.

Binali left Bahrain after also been flagged as a troublemaker with his nationality revoked after joining IS.

His death follows the US-led coalition's killing of the founder of Amaq, the IS propaganda news agency.

There is no official word yet from the group about the death of Binali, but other jihadi groups and figures have announced his demise.


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