Islamic State militant group spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani has been killed in Aleppo, the organization's Amaq News Agency said in a statement on Tuesday. Adnani is one of the most high-ranking figures in ISIS, and beyond his role as propaganda chief is thought to be in charge of the group's external terror operations.
The exact circumstances leading to Adnani's death are unclear, however Amaq stated that the spokesman was "martyred while surveying the operations to repel the military campaigns against Aleppo" in Syria.
Adnani was the voice for many of the group's most notorious propaganda messages, including calls for supporters to launch "lone wolf" attacks around the world and announcing the establishment of the group's so-called caliphate.
Although he is better known as the group's spokesman, Adnani has also played a key part in coordinating and planning terror attacks outside of Iraq and Syria. He is widely reported to have been the head of ISIS external planning operations, and French intelligence officials believe that one of the Paris attackers worked with Adnani in Syria.
The spokesman's death is one of the most significant losses in leadership for ISIS since the group seized large amounts of territory in Syria and Iraq in 2014. That same year, the U.S. State Department declared Adnani a Specially Designated Global Terrorist for his senior role in ISIS. In May, the U.S. offered up to $5 million for information on Adnani.
Adnani, whose real name is Taha Subhi Falaha, was born in 1977 in Idlib, Syria. He is thought to have been part of the early wave of foreign fighters to have journeyed to Iraq during the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. In January, Iraq's Joint Operations Command stated that it had wounded Adnani in an airstrike in western Iraq.
ISIS has lost large amounts of the territory it occupies this year, along with some of its senior leaders. In July, ISIS confirmed that one of its key military leaders Omar al-Shishani had been killed, and earlier this month the Pentagon stated the leader of the group's Afghan affiliate was killed in an airstrike. Losing Adnani surpasses these deaths in terms of significance for ISIS, however, and leaves the group without its most prominent propagandist.
This is a developing story, check back here for updates.