Al-Baghdadi was more resolute than present Caliph: Captured IS commander

Captured senior ISIS commander Abdul Nasser Qardash has said that slain Islamic State Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was more resolute than the current chief, Abdullah Qardash. Baghdadi was killed in US bombings in 2019.

In an interview to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya Network, the captive commander said the Islamic State had lost vast territories. According to him, ‘fanatics’ had infiltrated into the IS ranks and gained the “upper hand”.

Elaborating on Baghdadi, Qardash said the founder of IS rarely changed his mind once he had taken a decision. He would cover up his faults rather than admit to them.

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Qardash said, “When the Islamic State lost vast areas, including Kobani, things were re-examined and discussed with the leaders of the Islamic State. There were three of us who sat with the leaders of the Islamic State – myself, Abu Muhammad Al-Furqan, and Abu Ayyub Al-Raqqawi. During the discussions, it became clear that the fanatics in the Islamic State had the upper hand.”

When the interviewer asked whether there were fanatics in Islamic State and whether they had the upper hand, Qardash said, “It turned out that there were fanatic students who infiltrated (our ranks). We decided to form an inspection (committee) that would summon anyone who was problematic, and clarify matters with him.

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On killing of 900 defected Islamic State fighters by the outfit even after they ‘repented’, Qardash said, “I consider this to be a betrayal. These people repented, yet they took them and killed them, in accordance with the orders of Abu Mu’taz.”

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