ISIS Says No. 2 In Command Has Been Killed In Syria; Pentagon Assessing Strike
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Now, if you believe the claims of ISIS, the group suffered a significant blow yesterday. It says its chief spokesman was killed. His name is - or was - Abu Mohammed al-Adnani. The U.S. military has not confirmed Adnani's death, but the U.S. says it did take aim at Adnani with a precision strike. That phrase typically refers to the use of a laser-guided bomb or missile. NPR counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston reports on why al-Adnani's death would be a big deal,
DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, BYLINE: Of the thousands of ISIS videos produced over the past couple of years, there are several that stand out. The first is a speech by the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declaring himself the head of the Islamic State. And then there's this one, which came out May of this year, in which a man named Abu Mohammed al-Adnani called on Muslims living in Western Europe to celebrate Ramadan in an unusual way - by attacking Western targets.
(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)
ABU MOHAMMED AL-ADNANI: (Foreign language spoken).
TEMPLE-RASTON: Adnani was a founding member of ISIS. And since 2014, he's thought to have headed up the group's external operations, recruiting foreign fighters and then dispatching them overseas to carry out attacks. The terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have been linked to him directly. The Islamic State announced his death on Amaq, their official news site. The group said that Adnani had been killed while organizing the group's operations in Aleppo. He had a $5 million State Department bounty on his head. Dina Temple-Raston, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.