Omar the Chechen is the name that refers to a top ISIS leader, Abu Omar al-Shishani. He was born in Georgia as Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvil in 1986 to a Christian father and a Muslim mother. Having joined the ISIS, which actually stands for Islamic States of Iraq and Syria, he was one of the most wanted and dangerous Jihadists until his alleged death in July 2016. Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvil was believed to be the militia’s field commander in Northern Syria. He was not your average next door man hence begging the question, what made him who he was?
Served the Georgian armed forces
Abu Omar al-Shishani spent his early life in Pankisi, Gorge. In this place, he interacted with the second Chechen war rebels on their transit into Russia. It is not a surprise that after finishing his high school education he opted to join the Georgian army. In the army, he was an excellent student who ended up mastering the weaponry. He took a very active role in the 2008 Russo-Georgian war as a sergeant. However, he never got to be decorated for his exceptional service. He was arrested in 2010 for allegedly harboring weapons. In prison, he decided that if he made it out alive then he will join the jihadists which he did in 2012.
Reason behind ISIS dominance in Iraq
Abu Omar al-Shishani is believed to be the force and brains behind the rise of Isis in Iraq. This can be attributed to him being a superb military strategist and a ruthless fighter. He managed to transform Isis from some terrorist group to a militia that understands strategy and is well trained in guerilla warfare. Due to his military excellence, Al-Shishani rose through the ranks quickly. At the point of his death, he was a senior Isis council member who was in charge of the prisons.
ISIS militia brutality
Despite the world considering the Al-Qaeda as the most inhuman terror group, it could not stomach Isis brutality. The Al-Qaeda through its officials disassociated itself from Isis due to Isis being too extreme in most cases. Isis under their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who declared himself as the new caliph, declared jihad on all infidels.
He cheats death
He was constantly reported to be dead or captured by the United States government. This can be attributed to his presence in many battlegrounds. A bounty of $5 million was placed on anyone willing to offer information that will lead to his capture in May 2015. In May, June, August and October 2014 he was falsely reported to have been killed in Syria. The Chechen leader, on 13 November 2014, also made a false claim about his death. In December 2015, Russia reported that he had been captured by US government which was false. In March 2016 the pentagon claimed to have killed him in a series of airstrikes but was still assessing the results.
ISIS reported Shishani’s death in July 2016. He is said to have died in a battle in Iraq. His death is expected to have negative impacts on the militia. This is because the militia will lack his military strategy and ability to recruit foreigners.
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