US Military Confirms It Killed Senior Terrorist Official
US Military Confirms It Killed Senior Terrorist Official

By Jack Phillips

U.S. military officials on June 19 confirmed that an airstrike in Syria killed a top terrorist leader in ISIS over the past weekend.

The U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, said that it carried out the strike that killed Usamah Jamal Muhammad Ibrahim al-Janabi, described as a “senior ISIS official and facilitator,” according to a statement issued on June 19.

With al-Janabi’s death, ISIS’s capacity to “resource and conduct terror attacks” will be disrupted, according to the statement. No civilians were harmed in the airstrike, CENTCOM added.

“CENTCOM, alongside allies and partners in the region, will continue to execute operations to degrade ISIS operational capabilities and ensure its enduring defeat,” the statement concluded.

Since the civil war in Syria began in the early 2010s, the United States has consistently targeted leaders of the terrorist group, which has recently resurged in other parts of the world.

The group’s most notorious leader and its founder, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, killed himself during an October 2019 raid that was being carried out by U.S. special forces in northwestern Idlib Province, Syria. Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi was named as the group’s second leader, but he killed himself during a February 2022 raid by U.S. forces.

At the end of last month, the U.S. African Command, or AFRICOM, announced that an airstrike in Somalia targeted ISIS terrorists and killed at least three “with no civilian casualties.”

The strikes have come as multiple current and former U.S. officials have increasingly issued warnings about the resurgence of the group, namely its Afghanistan-based offshoot ISIS-K, or ISIS-Khorasan. The group claimed responsibility for a terrorist attack that killed at least 140 people in Moscow earlier this year.

On June 16, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) warned that the United States is facing the “highest level” for a possible terrorist attack, suggesting that the situation at the U.S.–Mexico border makes it possible for ISIS-aligned terrorists to creep into the country. He was responding to reports that several illegal immigrants who had ties with ISIS-K were arrested this month.

“What’s important about these reports and what we’re seeing, especially in conjunction with FBI Director [Christopher] Wray’s public statements, that we are at the highest level of a possible terrorist threat, that the administration’s policies have absolutely directly related to threats to Americans,” Mr. Turner told CBS News.

Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) requesting a classified briefing for all senators about ISIS threats, Mr. Graham told Fox News on June 12.

In recent months, the FBI director said that since the Oct. 7, 2023, attack in Israel by the Hamas terrorist group and the terrorist attack in Russia, he has become increasingly concerned about terrorism in the United States.

“Looking back over my career in law enforcement, I’d be hard-pressed to think of a time when so many different threats to our public safety and national security were so elevated all at once, but that is the case as I sit here today,” Mr. Wray said in a Senate hearing earlier this month.

The FBI director also recently sounded the alarm about his concerns about possible human smuggling operations along the U.S.–Mexico border and said that Mexico should also provide more support. Additionally, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a House hearing in June that, in reference to possible terrorist attacks, “the threat level has gone up enormously.”

This week, German officials suggested that their country could see a Moscow-style incident in the coming months, during which Germany is holding Euro 2024 soccer matches.

“Europe, and with it Germany, are in the crosshairs of jihadist organizations, in particular ISIS and ISIS-K,” German interior minister Nancy Faeser told the Financial Times.

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