By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. has an "eye on" deceased Daesh/ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's third-in-command, President Donald Trump said Tuesday.
"His third has got a lot of problems because we know where he is, too,” Trump said during remarks at the Economic Club of New York. "We have to keep it that way otherwise we're going to continue to have problems."
The president did not explicitly state whom he was referring to during the public remarks, and Daesh/ISIS's organizational structure is shrouded in mystery.
Trump has previously said the U.S. killed Baghdadi's successor. The White House confirmed Trump was in fact referring to the terror group's spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir.
Baghdadi was killed in an Oct. 26 U.S. raid in northwestern Syria, and his terror organization has since named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as its new leader.
The name is a nom de guerre, or kunya, and U.S. officials have acknowledged little is known about him.
Under Baghdadi, Daesh spread over wide segments of Iraq and Syria beginning in 2013, eventually claiming the formation of a "caliphate" in the region as it plotted and carried out gruesome attacks that reached far beyond its main territorial bastion. It further set up local affiliates in other regions as it released heinous execution videos on to the internet.
Baghdadi had been a top target for both the Trump and Obama administrations, and had a $25 million bounty placed on his head.
As the U.S.-led coalition took back territories once under the terror group's hold, Baghdadi increasingly stayed in the shadows, only rarely releasing pre-recorded audio messages to his followers.