American government officials announced rewards of up to $20 million dollars for any information regarding four leaders of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL): Abdul Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili, and Tariq bin al-Tahar bin al-Falih al-Awni al-Harzi.
ISIS supporters and members openly mocked the rewards on social media.
— PROPHET’S KHILAFAH (@EsaIsN) May 6, 2015
Translation: This is the American crusade, which she dazed you fools. It is where fabrication exists and spies and satellites watch everything! O Lord, save our leader.
هذه هي امريكا الصليبية التي دوختكم أيها المغفلون فأين أقمار اصطناعها وجواسيسها وأنها تراقب كل شيء! اللهم احفظ قادتنا pic.twitter.com/FEuwSGpEhZ
— عيُـونُ الأمّـة (@oyon_is) May 7, 2015
Translation: America is not serious in the war with Islamic State.
— Get Fact Access (@Get__00) May 7, 2015
Both of these accounts claim the reward shows that America failed to penetrate the Islamic State.
خصصت أمريكا مكافأة قدرها 20 مليون دولا ر لمن يقدم معلومات هذا يدل على فشلهم في اختراق الدولة الاسلامية pic.twitter.com/U0lkf4SLAV
— أوس البرقاوي (@aws_ly82) May 6, 2015
— %*Abu Khattab%* (@AbuKhattab183) May 6, 2015
Translation: America offers $20 million dollars for these 4 men. These are our soldiers, your soldiers. #Urgent
— جزيرة _العرب (@aaa17556879) May 6, 2015
There were more, but Twitter suspended numerous accounts yesterday.
The State Department placed al-Qaduli on top of the list with a reward of $7 million. He originally belonged to al-Qaeda, where he “served as AQI leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s deputy and as AQI emir of Mosul, Iraq.” The Treasury Department designated him “as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist pursuant to Executive Order 13224 on May 14, 2014.”
Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili is also known as Omar al-Shishani. He rose to international fame as one of ISIS’s most accomplished generals, as well as his distinctive Chechen complexion and bright red hair. The U.S. placed his award at $5 million. Officials claim he works with the terrorist group’s financial section and was placed in charge of a prison in al-Tabqa. He is currently the group’s “northern commander of operations in Syria’s Aleppo, al-Raqqah, Latakia, and northern Idilib provinces.”
Many believe Shishani is the actual leader of ISIS, since he is one of the few constant figures featured in pictures and videos. He appeared prominently in a video touring a children’s terrorist training camp run by the group. The children, who were not older than 7-years-old, showed off chants, songs, and military formations they learned, along with knowledge of military weapons.
The United States issued the award after two gunmen allegedly connected to ISIS attacked the Draw Mohammed contest in Garland, TX. Gunman Elton Simpson had a long history of radical Islam, mainly with al-Shabaab in Somalia. But after the FBI thwarted his attempts to fly to Somalia, he turned to ISIS. An FBI report claims Simpson wanted to travel to Syria in April.