This is what we know so far about Daesh's Abu Sayyaf

Published May 17th, 2015 - 01:41 GMT
US officials say Abu Sayyaf's wife Umm Sayyaf is now in custody after being captured during the raid. (AFP/FIle)
US officials say Abu Sayyaf's wife Umm Sayyaf is now in custody after being captured during the raid. (AFP/FIle)

Before Daesh commander Abu Sayyaf was killed by US special forces on Saturday, a google search of those words rendered results almost exclusively about an unrelated extremist group from the Philippines with the same name. By now most people are wondering who this quiet Daesh figure was, and where he was before this weekend.

Here’s the rundown so far.

Described by a terrorism analyst as “Al Capone’s accountant,” this Tunisian-born militant was an oil sales strongman for the militant group, charged with handling the finances from the illegal petroleum operations largely to blame for the group’s ever-expanding funding pool.

And as a mid-level commander, he also probably had contact with Daesh leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, so the US likely wanted him detained alive to get much needed information about how the group operates.

Finally, yesterday’s events shouldn’t be seen as a massive blow to Daesh. Analysts say although his role is an important one, Sayyaf himself is not indispensable.


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