Captured senior ISIS commander Abdul Nasser Qardash said in a May 20, 2020 interview on Al-Arabiya Network (Saudi Arabia) that when ISIS lost vast territories, the ISIS leadership re-examined things. He said that it became clear that fanatics had infiltrated ISIS and gained the "upper hand." In addition, Qardash said that former ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who had been killed by U.S. forces in 2019, had been a resolute leader who rarely changed his mind and who would cover up his faults rather than admit to them. He added that the current ISIS Caliph is not as resolute as Al-Baghdadi had been.
Abdul Nasser Qardash: "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."
Host: "So there were fanatics in ISIS and they had the upper hand?"
Qardash: "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.
"Abu Bark Al-Baghdadi was known to be resolute. He would not go back on a decision unless he was 100% certain that it was wrong. Only then would he change his mind. He would not admit any faults. Rather, he would try to cover them up. [Current ISIS leader] Abdullah Qardash is not a resolute person."
Host: "900 men were taken from the provinces under your control, especially Al-Anbar, and after they 'repented,' they were slaughtered in Syria."
Qardash: "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."