MS Risk Blog

Islamic State Financier Chief ‘Killed in Air Strikes’

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A United States military spokesman reported on 10 December that the finance chief of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group has been killed in air strikes carried out by the US-led coalition.

According to the spokesman, Muwaffaq Mustafa Mohammed al-Karmoush, also known as Abu Salah, along with two other senior leaders, were killed in the air strikes, which occurred in “recent weeks.” No further details pertaining to the strikes have been released. US military spokesman Col. Steve Warren has also confirmed the deaths.

Abu Salah is the code name for Muwaffaq Mustafa Mohammed al-Karmoush. He appears on the US Treasury’s Counter Terrorism Designations list setting out sanctioned individuals. It lists him as an Iraqi national who was born in 1973. Col. Warren called Abu Salah “one of the most senior and experienced members” of the militant group’s financial network, adding that “killing him and his predecessors exhausts the knowledge and talent needed to co-ordinate funding within the organizations.” He further disclosed that the other leaders killed in the air strikes were Abu Mariam, a senior chief responsible for extortion activities, and Abu Waqman al-Tunis, who co-ordinated the transfer of people, weapons and information. Brett McGurk, special US presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter IS, has reported that the three were killed “as part of the coalition campaign to destroy ISIL’s (Islamic State’s) financial infrastructure.”

The coalition has been carrying out air strikes against IS militants both in Syria and in neighbouring Iraq for over a year. One of these airstrikes recently killed an IS leader in Libya. On Monday, 7 December, the Pentagon confirmed that a US air strike killed Abu Nabil, adding that he died after an F-15 jet targeted a compound in the eastern city of Derna on 13 November.

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