The Islamic State's spokesman has been killed in Syria. According to the Associated Press, the ISIS-operated news organization, Aamaq, announced Tuesday that Abu Muhammed al-Adnani was "martyred while surveying the operations to repel the military campaigns against Aleppo."
The circumstances in which he died are still uncertain, but according to NBC, al-Adnani, who was Syrian, topped the list of U.S. ISIS targets. He was the terrorist group's director of external operations and its second most powerful member.
"Adnani has been the main voice behind issuing ISIS threats to the West," NBC counterterrorism analyst Laith al-Khouri said in December. "He is so admired and glorified by jihadists worldwide that he stands as a primary point of recruitment."
The 39-year-old al-Adnani is thought to have masterminded terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, and to have declared Ramadan "the month of conquest and jihad" in May, according to Time. He was reportedly behind both recruitment efforts and assignment of operatives to specific countries, and urged ISIS members to be ruthless in their attacks on the West.
"If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French," al-Adnani said, according to NBC, "or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be."
This story is breaking and will be updated.
Aug. 30, 2016, 3:33 p.m.: This story has been updated.