Shishani has emerged as the face of ISIS appearing frequently in its online videos – in contrast to the group’s leader, Baghdadi.
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A young, red-bearded ethnic Chechen has rapidly become one of the most prominent commanders in Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS that has overrun swaths of Iraq and Syria, illustrating the international nature of the movement.Omar al-Shishani, one of hundreds of Chechens who have been among the toughest jihadi fighters in Syria, has emerged as the face of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, appearing frequently in its online videos – in contrast to the group's Iraqi leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who remains deep in hiding and has hardly ever been photographed. In a video released by the group over the weekend, Shishani is shown standing next to the group's spokesman among a group of fighters as they declare the elimination of the border between Iraq and Syria. After it intervened in Syria's civil war last year, it drew hundreds of foreign fighters into its operations in Syria.Hussein Nasser, spokesman for the Islamic Front coalition group of rebels, said Chechens were among the most feared fighters in Syria.
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