al-Shaykh, Abu Ali al-Anbari

al-Shaykh Abu Ali al-Anbari, Abdulrahman Mustafa, he went by various aliases including Abu al-Alaa al-Afri, Abu Jassim al-Iraqi, Abu Omar Qardash, Abu Iman, Abdullah ibn Rashid al-Baghdadi and Hajji Imam. He born in Tal-Afar to an Iraqi Turkmen family, and was a powerful and influential leader in and around Wilayat Ninawa (his home province). He previously worked as a Physics teacher.

In the 1980s, he acquired Salafi Jihadi ideology and was arrested by Saddam’s security apparatus on several occasions. In the late 1990s, he traveled to Afghanistan and met al-Shaykh Osama Bin Laden. After the US invasion of Iraq, he returned to al-Sulaymaniya, in northeastern Iraq, to join Ansar al-Islam group, operating in the Kurdish region.

Later, he returned to Tal-Afar and founded, Saraya al-Jihad group, a local and independent Jihadi group to fight the Americans. In 2004, he pledged allegiance to al-Shaykh Abu Mus’ad al-Zarqawi, and in 2008, he was named head of the Shura council under al-Shaykh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

Shaykh Osama Bin Laden appointed him to succeed al-Shaykh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, but the message regarding the appointment came two weeks after pledges of allegiance had been made to al-Shaykh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He was charge of coordinate day-to-day military operations of the Islamic State in al-Sham. He was a gifted speaker and served as a Shar’i, and while he was in al-Raqqa, he gave a series of recording lectures (more than 40 hours) at al-Imam al-Nawawi Mosque, that summarize the Aqida of the Islamic State and break down the arguments of man-made constitutions and laws, parliaments, courts, and democratic norms like devolution of power and popular sovereignty in a coherent and unparalleled manner, one of his lectures was included in the 19th episode of the “Messages from the Land of Epic Battles” series by al-Furqan Media Foundation. The Islamic State named a series of operations against Peshmerga forces in the area north of al-Mosul, Baghdad, al-Anbar, Salahuddine, Dijla, al-Furat, al-Jazira, Kirkuk al-Raqqa, Dimashq, Homs, Halab, Hama al-Baraka, al-Khayr, Khurasan, Sinai, Tarabulus, Bahrain, Philippines and Bangladesh after him, calling it the “The Battle of al-Shaykh Abu Ali al-Anbari”, in his honour.