The Islamic State group on Monday confirmed the death of its propaganda chief, Wa’il Adil Hasan Salman al-Fayad, also known as Abu Mohammed al-Furqan, confirming a Pentagon report that claimed his death earlier.
A statement published on social media by ISIS declared the “martyrdom” of Al-Furqan, saying he was an “emir” of the group’s central media body.
According to the Pentagon, al-Furqan, a minister of information for ISIS and a member of the group’s Senior Shura Council, was killed in a US-led air strike in Syria’s Raqqa province last month.
However, the ISIS statement did not provide any further details including the date and place of death.
The Pentagon earlier said the air strike took place near Raqqa targeted al-Fayad while he was on a motorcycle outside his house, media reports revealed.
The death of Al-Furqan marks another setback to the propaganda team of the Jihadi movement as its spokesman and foreign operations Chief Abu Mohammad al-Adnani was killed in a U.S.-led coalition strike in August.
According to a recent study by terrorism researchers at West Point, the deaths of senior leaders have affected the group’s propaganda operations, which was at its heights earlier in 2015.
As part of its operation, the group was distributing more than 700 pieces of material via its official outlets in a month last year, while the number dropped to less than 200 by August this year, the report has revealed.
Daniel Milton, director of research at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point said: “It’s not just the numeric decline. The caliphate was their big selling point. Now there’s an inability to say we’re doing the things that make us a state. And that was behind their broad appeal.”
Meanwhile, J.M. Berger, coauthor of “ISIS: The State of Terror,” also said that other researchers had witnessed the steady reduction in Islamic State media production, The New York Times reported.
“Everyone who watches this is seeing the dropoff. They’re dropping the utopian sales pitch they started with. And that’s hurting their recruiting effort,” Berger added.