Meet ISIS chief Bhagdadi's 9 possible successors

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Baghdad, Oct 13: There have once again been reports that Abu-Bakr al-Bhagdadi, the supreme commander of the ISIS was hit in an airstrike at Iraq.

The Iraq military claimed that its airforce had struck a convoy in which there were nine persons along with Bhagdadi.

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There is no confirmation about the death of Bhagadadi, although the Iraq military says with confidence that the nine others have been killed.

While there is no confirmation whether Bhagdadi is alive or dead, there is a lurking suspicion about his condition as the ISIS has been releasing only audio messages of their chief as opposed to the video messages they earlier would release of him.

Sucession in any terror organization is the most crucial aspect. One saw the decline of the al-Qaeda following the death of Osama Bin Laden.

The death of Mullah Omar, Taliban chief was also a blow to the Taliban. Does the ISIS have a successor? They have not named anyone as yet, but there are several candidates who could succeed Bhagdadi, if he dies.

Abdullah Alani

Abdullah Alani is 51 years old and had joined the al-Qaeda in the year 2004. He went along with Bhagdadi when the ISIS split with the al-Qaeda.

He is said to have lineage to the Prophet Mohammad and hence could be the successor to Bhagdadi.

A lineage to the Prophet is a major pre-requisite since the ISIS leader dons the role of a Caliph.

However the decision on the lineage to the Prophet is taken by the ISIS and is not acceptable to several Muslims.

Abu Alaa al-Afri

A physics teacher, Abu Alaa al-Afri is considered to be close to Bhagdadi. He has taken charge of the ISIS and led the battle when Bhagdadi was injured.

It was claimed by the Iraq military that Abu Alaa al-Afri had been killed in an air strike. However there was no confirmation about the news.

Abu Alaa al-Afri was a powerful figure even when he was with the al-Qaeda prior to the split. He was a personal favourite of Osama Bin Laden.

When the ISIS was formed it was expected that he would take over the leadership of the ISIS. However since he had no lineage with the Prophet, Bhagdadi was chosen over him.

Sheikh Younis al-Mashhadani

Sheikh Younis al-Mashhadani is also a possible successor to Bhagdadi. He too can boast of a lineage to the Prophet and hence this keeps him in the running for the top post.

He is a religious scholar a major pre-requisite for an ISIS chief. He is also part of the top seven in the ISIS committee which declares the Caliph.

The rest of them

While the names mentioned above are the most likely sucessors to Bhagdadi there are six others who could also be in the running for the top post.

Abu Ali al-Anbari, Abdul Rahman al-Talabani, Abu Atheer al-Absi, Nima abd Naif al-Jubury, Abu Bakr al-Khatooni and Abu Omar al-Shishani are the rest who could be in the running for the top post.

Anbari is the head of the ISIS security council and is a military leader who has served as an intelligence officer in the Saddam Hussain led army.

Abu Atheer al-Absi who is the head of the media committee is one of the top five most powerful men in the ISIS.

Nima abd Naif al-Jubury is the head of the military committee of the ISIS and he heads operations in Southern Iraq.

Abdul Rahman al-Talabani is the head of ISIS's religious committee while Abu Bakr al-Khatooni, is the head of the ISIS Shura committee.

Abu Omar al-Shishani is a military commander responsible for several successful missions in Syria.

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