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ISIS leader dies during U.S. counterterrorism raid in Syria, White House says

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President Biden, Vice President Harris and members of the President’s national security team observe the counterterrorism operation responsible for removing from the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — the leader of ISIS.
Courtesy: The White House

WASHINGTON – The leader of terrorist group ISIS, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, died during a U.S. raid in Syria, the White House said Thursday.

Al-Qurayshi detonated a bomb that killed himself and several members of his family, a senior administration official told NBC News.

President Joe Biden is slated to address the nation on the details of the raid at 9:30 a.m. ET from the White House.

All U.S. service members involved in the mission returned safely from the operation.

A U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity ahead of the announcement, confirmed to NBC News that the Islamic State militant group leader was on the third floor of a building in northern Syria when U.S. Special Operators arrived.

During the operation, a U.S. military helicopter experienced a maintenance issue and was deemed unsafe to fly. The servicemembers on the ground detonated the aircraft on-site.

People inspect a destroyed house following an operation by the U.S. military in the Syrian village of Atmeh, in Idlib province, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022.
Ghaith Alsayed | AP

Al-Qurayshi was previously a senior member in ISIS’ predecessor organization, al-Qaida in Iraq, before joining the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

He rose through the ranks of the terror group before he was named its leader in October 2019, a few days after his predecessor, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed during a U.S. raid.

Under the Trump administration, the United States doubled the bounty for the new ISIS leader to $10 million.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

Correction: This story’s headline was updated to reflect that the ISIS leader died during the raid.

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