Fugitive ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ‘praises Sri Lanka bombers’ as world’s most wanted terrorist is seen for first time in five years

0
47


ISIS terror chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is seen for the first time in almost five years in a new video released to prove he’s still alive.

The world’s most wanted terrorist can apparently be heard name-checking the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka as revenge for their losses in the Syrian city of Baghouz in a speech to his closest followers.

Al-Baghdadi is heard addressing ISIS' defeat and revenge attacks
Al-Baghdadi is heard addressing ISIS’ defeat and revenge attacks
The SIS leader's devoted followers are shown with their faces masked and blurred
The ISIS leader’s devoted followers are shown with their faces masked and blurred
The footage appears to show Al-Baghdadi alive and well despite reports of his death
The footage appears to show al-Baghdadi alive and well despite numerous reports of his death
AFP or licensors

In the 18 minute recording, the terrorist can be heard addressing the end of the so-called caliphate, which once stretched across tracts of Iraq and Syria and ruthlessly ruled over 10 million people.

It seems to be designed to show al-Baghdadi is alive and still in command of the on-the-run terror group as it plots new atrocities around the world.

Mystery had surrounded his whereabouts for some time. He was said to have been seriously wounded in an air strike in 2015.

But in the propaganda video he seems to have recovered.

He appears with a bushy grey and red beard, wearing a black robe with a beige vest and is seated on the floor with what appears to be a machine gun propped up next to him.

CRUSHED CALIPHATE’S HUNTED LEADER CLAIMS BATTLE STILL ON

Al-Bagdadi acknowledged that ISIS lost the war in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz, which marked the end of the caliphate.

But he says: “In fact, the battle of Islam and its people against the Crusaders and their followers is a long battle.”

The battle of Baghouz, he argues, demonstrates the “barbarism and brutality” of the West and the “courage, steadfastness and resilience of the nation of Islam”.

He added: “This steadfastness shocked the hearts of the Crusaders in what increased their rage.”

Referring to the setbacks in battle, he said the “brothers” of the many fallen fighters “will avenge that, as they will not forget as long as they have blood in their veins, and there will be a battle after this one”.

After the complete collapse of the caliphate last month he was thought to be have gone into hiding in the desert regions of Iraq or Syria.

It is unclear when and where the video was filmed.

But terror expert Rita Katz, of SITE Intelligence Group, said: “The video shows Baghdadi in a casual conversational setting with others (their faces blurred).

“He talks about war against ‘Crusaders’ and about battles in Baghouz in Syria being over, indicating that this interview was filmed somewhat recently.”

The siege at Baghouz lasted 10 weeks and ended in March, marking the complete collapse of the caliphate.

In an audio-only section, he praises the Sri Lanka hotel and church suicide bombers, claiming the massacre was “revenge”.

Terror experts said that part was likely added afterwards to bring it up to date.

Timeline of hate

TERROR chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was born in 1971 to a religious family north of Iraq capital Baghdad.

He is believed to have become a cleric and helped found a militant group after the US invasion in 2003.

Al-Baghdadi was picked up in 2004 on suspicion of being a jihadist and interned at America’s Camp Bucca.

After being freed from detention in 2009 he warned his captors: “I’ll see you guys in New York.”

Al-Baghdadi, seen on a wanted poster, right, later joined the IS terror group.

He became leader in 2010 when his predecessor was killed in a rocket strike by US and Iraqi forces.

He stopped the group releasing video messages and instead began to foster a more mysterious image.


The terror chief is believed to have been born in Samarra, north of Iraqi capital Baghdad, in 1971.

He was reportedly a cleric in a mosque when the city was invaded by US-led forces in 2003.

While reports differ on when al-Baghdadi was radicalised, it has been suggested that he was brainwashed in Camp Bucca, a US prison in southern Iraq.

Al-Baghdadi’s only known public appearance on video was in 2014 when he delivered a sermon in Mosul, Iraq, annouciing the formation of the ill-fated caliphate.

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is shrouded in mystery
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears to have aged heavily since his last appearance here back in 2014
AP:Associated Press
This map shows how the caliphate dominated huge areas of Syria and Iraq before vanishing completely in the March 2019 battle of Baghuz
This map shows how the caliphate dominated huge areas of Syria and Iraq before vanishing completely in the March 2019 battle of Baghuz
The image is said to show extremist cleric Zahran Hashim along with seven suicide bombers who carried out the attack
The Sri Lankan bombers pose in front of an ISIS flag before their attack
AFP
Security forces inspect the scene after the deadly blast
Security forces inspect the scene after the deadly blast at The Cinnamon Grand Hotel
Getty – Contributor
British student Nisanga Mayadume was eating breakfast with her family when one of the bombs was set off in five-star Shangri-La Hotel
British student Nisanga Mayadume was eating breakfast with her family when one of the bombs was set off at the Shangri-La hotel
Facebook

Facebook

The tragic last picture of Nisanga and her family eating breakfast before the fatal explosion[/caption]

//players.brightcove.net/5067014667001/default_default/index.min.js


We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.


 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here