New Delhi, June 14: When we say that Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi the chief of the ISIS is dead, there is a big "IF" that one may want to add to it.
Speaking to a number of persons one gets the feeling that the news of his death may be true, but the timing is suspect. He could have died in 2015 itself since that the was the last time that anyone heard Bhagdadi speak.
It may be recalled that in 2015 he had released an audio tape in which he called for Jihad. However that the was the last that anyone heard of him.
The ISIS may be delaying the confirmation since it would want the transition to be smooth while it appoints a new leader. While Abu Alaa Afri is the preferred choice of the Shura Council of the ISIS., there are 8 others who are also in line.
The pre-requisites to be ISIS chief:
Appointing a new leader to the ISIS is no easy job. There is a cumbersome process that is undertaken. It is the Shura Council which takes the final call on this issue and whatever decision is made it is abided by.
The Shura Council comprising scholars is considered to be the highest body which decides on the successor. It was the Shura Council that had chosen Bhagdadi over Afri. The council looks into the knowledge base of a leader before it takes a final call.
Apart from being well versed with the religious laws, the leader ought to have command over the forces and possess military knowledge as well.
Once the candidates are shortlisted the council would examine all these aspects before it announces the chief or in the case of the ISIS, the Caliph.
The nine persons in waiting:
Abu Alaa al-Afri is currently the preferred choice. He was very close to Osama Bin Laden when he was with the al-Qaeda. He would have become ISIS chief, but he had no lineage with the Prophet and hence Bhagdadi was chosen over him.
-Abdullah Alani is the second person in waiting. He is said to have lineage to the Prophet Mohammad and hence could be the successor to Bhagdadi. He is also a religious scholar. He is also part of the top seven in the ISIS committee which declares the Caliph.
-Abu Ali al-Anbari, the head of the ISIS security council was also an intelligence officer in the Saddam Hussein government
-Abdul Rahman al-Talabani is the head of the religious committee
-Abu Atheer al-Absi is the head of the media committee
Nima abd Naif al-Jubury is the head of the military committee
Abu Bakr al-Khatooni is the head of the Shura committee
Abu Omar al-Shishani is a military commander popular for his conquests in Syria