- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Islamic State group sent a senior member into the Iraqi city of Ramadi to speak in one of its mosques on Thursday.

Ali Attiya al-Jubouri, who also goes by Abu Asim, or “the blind judge of the Islamic State,” spoke in the city just 11 days after the Sunni radical terror organization wrestled control from Iraqi security forces.

“This cleric who appeared in Ramadi yesterday is very famous. He is the second highest religious authority after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the fifth man in the organization of Daesh,” Iraqi security expert Hisham al-Hashimi told Reuters on Thursday.

Mr. al-Hashimi said the speech was likely made to try and win over residents who stayed behind after the Islamic State seized the city, Reuters reported.

Iraqi security forces and Iran-backed Shiite militias are planning to retake Ramadi, but the Islamic State group has already fortified some positions.

Col. Steve Warren, Pentagon spokesman, said Wednesday that the terror group was setting up IEDs and digging berms ahead of the Iraqi government’s counterattack.


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