The White House has announced that the second in command with ISIS was killed during a US airstrike while near Mosul, Iraq. The man that was prominent in the ISIS group who was killed was named Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, also known as Hajji Mutazz.
Hayali was traveling with an ISIS media operative who was known as Abu Abdullah according to the US National Security spokesperson. Hayali was in charge of the ISIS operations underway in Iraq and he also was a very important planner for the military. Hayali also was an ISIS Shura Council member, and was the senior deputy to the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Hayali was a primary coordinator when it came to moving large amounts of explosives, weapons, vehicles, and people, to and from Iraq and Syria. According to a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, Hayali was detained in 2005 by US Forces for his Al-Qaeda connections, but was then handed back to the Iraqi government a little later. In 2005 Hayali had admitted to being a bookkeeper for Al-Qaeda in Iraq and he claimed he was involved with the weapons trafficking and aiding extremist operations. Hayali served as an ISIS military emir in Baghdad and then he was an emir of Ninevah Province between 2011 and 2012. He also was a lieutenant colonel in the army of Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq.
While this might seem like great news, there is a little bit of a mystery surrounding this No. 2 man Hayali, because oddly enough, many news organizations reported that he died at the end of 2014. This was coming from information inside of the White House, specifically from a senior US administration official, and multiple officials at that. Apparently one official has since said maybe the US had the wrong identification at that time last year, but it still does not make that much sense, and it has a lot of news organizations scratching their heads because it was already thought Hayali had been killed a long time ago. The US officials say that the death of Hayali is going to have an impact on ISIS, but only short term because ISIS is very flexible and the group is always willing to put new people in positions of power when the high-ranking operatives are killed or wounded.
It is not known yet exactly who within ISIS will be stepping up into Hayali’s role, but US officials warn that it will be someone, so this is not a time to really celebrate. Another part of this is that while ISIS will continue to move on and move people into new positions, officials say that this death just shows how destructible ISIS is, and since Hayali was a key figure, it will definitely be a blow to the terror group. Currently, no one from the White House has commented on the seemingly odd situation of all the reports of Hayali being killed last year, nor has anyone given out another possible name of the person that was killed last year if it was indeed not Hayali.