Pentagon: ISIS Fighter Known as 'Desert Lion' Dead

Image: Islamic State In Iraq And The Levant
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, is an unrecognized state and active Jihadist militant group in Iraq and Syria influenced by the Wahhabi movement.Abaca, file

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By Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube

A murderous ISIS member who became known as the 'Desert Lion' because of his brutality has been killed by a coalition airstrike, the Pentagon announced Monday.

The man, Shaker Wahib, also known as Abu Wahib, was a mid-level ISIS fighter in Iraq and considered a brutal executioner. He gained notoriety after a haunting 2013 video in which he pulled over three Syrian Alawite truck drivers in along the Syrian-Anbar province border and began to question them about religion — asking how many times they pray, etc.

He then declared them bad Muslims, sentenced them to death, made them kneel down and shot them one by one.

Wahib was once seen by some analysts as the most direct heir to former al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi.

A defense official told NBC News that Wahib never became that heir or ascended beyond a mid-level fighter.

There are also unconfirmed reports that he may have served in Bucca Prison in 2009, but escaped during a 2012 attack that saw more than 100 prisoners freed.

He was killed in Iraq, along with three other ISIS fighters, while they were traveling in a car.