ISIS leader believed dead, reappears in video | Daily News

ISIS leader believed dead, reappears in video

IS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
IS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The elusive chief of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghadadi has appeared for the first time in five years, praising the terror attacks in Sri Lanka.

In a propaganda video released by the armed group, he specifically praises the terror attacks in Sri Lanka adding that it has pleased the hearts of Muslims and vowed a ‘long battle’ lies ahead.

The appearance of the shadowy leader who was believed to have been killed or gravely wounded has come as a shock as analysts believe it indicates that the organization still exists despite being militarily depleted.

In the video he praises the Sri Lankan attackers, who had pledged allegiance to Baghadadi prior to the attack at the three churches and three hotels in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa.

“As for our brothers in Sri Lanka, I was overjoyed when I heard about the suicide attack, which overthrew the cradles of the Crusaders and avenged them for our brethren in Baghouz,” al-Baghdadi says in the video. He says it has pleased the hearts of Muslims and that it was “part of a revenge which awaits the crusaders and their followers.”

"Your brothers in Sri Lanka have healed the hearts of monotheists [ISIS members] with their suicide bombings, which shook the beds of the crusaders during Easter to avenge your brothers in Baghouz," he says. The video was released on Monday by a media outlet run by the extremists, Al-Furqan.

In the 18-minute address, the leader wearing a black robe with a beige vest, sporting a bushy grey beard is seated cross-legged on a cushion with an AK47 rifle propped up next to him. He addresses three men whose faces have been blotted out.

It is unclear when the footage was filmed but in it he says that "The battle for Baghouz is over.” Baghouz, was the group’s last silver of territory which was captured by US backed Kurdish led Syrian democratic forces.The fall of Baghouz is said to signify the defeat of the self-declared Islamic caliphate over parts of Iraq and Syria.

This is believed to be his first video appearance since he delivered a sermon at the Al-Nuri mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014. In that video he urges Muslims around the world to swear allegiance to the caliphate and obey him as its leader.

The elusive Abu Bakr al-Baghadadi.


 

Add new comment