Baghdad/Sputnik: Iraq has "crucial" intelligence about the current leader of the Islamic State terrorist organization (IS, banned in Russia), Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, a spokesman for the country's counter-terrorism service, Sabah al-Numan, told Sputnik on Tuesday, adding that the service makes constant surveillance of his activities in the country's western desert areas.
Al-Qurashi became the group's leader following the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a special US operation in Syria in 2019. The IS eventually confirmed al-Baghdadi's death and named al-Qurashi as his replacement.
"We have important information about the IS leader, and it is now undergoing monitoring, scrutiny and evaluation ... The terrorist group leader is on the move and has been active in desert areas, especially across the border region of the Anbar desert [in Iraq's western province of Al Anbar]," al-Numan said.
The IS leadership is under the service's surveillance and control, according to the spokesman.
The organization has lost financial and logistical assistance because of its non-recognition and the absence of sponsors, Al-Numan added, noting that its media service has become "weak," as its publications "are not what they used to be in the past."
In late 2017, Iraq declared a victory over the IS, but the army, with the support of the US-led coalition and militia units, still conducts offensives against terrorists and sleeper cells that are active in different parts of the country.