ISIS Releases Photos Of Fighters In Syria, Pakistan, Mozambique Pledging Allegiance To New Caliph

December 6, 2022

The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.

On November 30, 2022, the Islamic State (ISIS) spokesman Abu 'Umar Al-Muhajir announced the death of ISIS leader Abu Al-Hasan Al-Hashemi Al-Qurashi in battle and the appointment of a new leader, fourth since the inception of the organization, known as Abu Al-Husayn Al-Husayni Al-Qurashi.[1]

Following the ISIS spokesman's announcement that a new caliph had been appointed and his call for all Muslims to immediately swear allegiance to him, ISIS's official media began to publish photos showing operatives in its various "provinces" gathering to perform the bay'ah (oath of allegiance) to the new caliph.

As of November 6, ISIS has released photo sets from the Islamic State's Provinces of West Africa (ISWAP),[2] Khorasan (ISIS-K),[3] Iraq,[4] Syria, Yemen, the Sahel, Somalia, and Central Africa (ISCAP).[5] ISWAP released three different photo sets from its areas of Al-Buhayrah, Al-Faruq, and central Nigeria.

Following is a review of the recent photo sets showing fighters performing the pledge of allegiance from Syria, Mozambique, and Pakistan.


On December 5, ISIS's Syria Province released 20 photos documenting bay'ahs pledged by its fighters to new ISIS leader Abu Al-Husayn Al-Husayni Al-Qurashi. The photos show several groups, varying in size, presumably across the country, gathered outdoors or indoors, performing the oath of allegiance and congratulating one another afterwards.

Two particular photos show a group of five men, all masked and with faces digitally blurred, performing the oath. They all wear an explosive-laden belt, usually carried by top-tier leadership, reportedly to be used when capture is imminent.


ISIS's Mozambique Province released a set of six photos on December 6 showing one group of about 50 to 60 fighters, armed with rifles, in an outdoor area performing the bay'ah. The fighters appear in a large circle as a commander stands in the center to lead the oath of allegiance. An ISIS flag is placed in the center of the circle.


On December 6, ISIS released 14 photos of fighters in Pakistan armed with rifles and RPGs, performing the bay'ah in front of an ISIS banner in a mountainous area. The different groups are of various sizes and strength of force; some consist of as few as two operatives gathered in bunkers or outdoors, while one large group numbers about 14 fighters.


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