The Islamic State’s (ISIS) official spokesman in Mosul was reported dead after gunfire raked his car in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Governorate, activists reported on Tuesday.
Abu Isaac, the ISIS spokesman, was driving his car through central Mosul when a group of gunmen ambushed him and opened fire on his car.
“Abu Isaac and two of his escorts were killed in the attack,” Raafat al-Zarari, head of Nineveh Media Centre, told ARA News. “At least three gunmen were involved in the operation. The gunmen remained unknown.”
Speaking to ARA News in Mosul, media activist Abdullah al-Malla said that following the attack, Abu Isaac was transferred to the al-Adli Hospital in central Mosul. “But when he arrived at the hospital, Abu Isaac was already dead. He was shot at least four times,” the source reported.
On Sunday, the Chief of Media Operations in the Islamic State, Abu Muhammad Furqan, was killed in an attack by Iraqi army forces. Iraqi security officer Ali Daqqa told ARA News that Iraqi Special Operation Forces raided a building in the Baaj District where Furqan and other ISIS-affiliated media workers had been hiding. “At least 20 ISIS media workers and officials were hiding in that building. They were all killed in the operation,” the official confirmed.
Abu Muhammad Furqan was responsible for the ISIS media operations, including the production of jihadist propaganda videos. He was the director of the al-Furqan Media, and an influential board member at both the ISIS-linked Amaq News Agency and the Naba’ newspaper.
Although the death of Furqan came as a shock to the radical group, as he used to operate from confidential locations, observers believe that his death won’t have a huge influence on ISIS media efforts.
“Dozens of highly trained journalists are working for the extremist group,” Iraqi researcher Randa Khalaf told ARA News. “Of course Abu Muhammad Furqan had gained the trust of the ISIS leadership due to his successful work and commitment to the group’s agenda. However, replacing him won’t be difficult, as ISIS relies on several media channels to deliver its messages and official statements to its audience worldwide,” she said.
Last week, a group of gunmen reportedly broke into the Islamic State’s Hisba police department in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Governorate and killed a number of ISIS militants, including the ISIS security chief Abu Ayoub. Informed sources reported that the ISIS security headquarters in the Baaj District of Nineveh Governorate was attacked by a group of unknown gunmen last Sunday.
“Five security members were killed in the attack, including Mahmoud Sulaiman al-Muslih, also known as Abu Ayoub, the ISIS chief of security in the Baaj district,” Raafat al-Zarari, head of Nineveh Media Centre, told ARA News.
After the attack, clashes broke out between the gunmen and ISIS militants in Baaj. “Two of the gunmen were killed in the clashes, while the others were able to escape the area,” local media activist Ali Saddawi told ARA News. He added that the gunmen had infiltrated into the Hisba police department “mainly to assassinate Abu Ayoub”.
“The target was known for torturing prisoners in ISIS detention centres across Nineveh. He was promoted by the group to the position of security chief for his strong ties with the ISIS leadership in Iraq,” the source said.
In the attack’s aftermath, ISIS militants imposed a curfew in the Baaj District and installed new security checkpoints in a bid to capture the attackers.