Hunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi down from 17 to just FOUR locations after ISIS chief gives away tell-tale clues in latest video

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ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts have been narrowed down to four sites after the jihadis released a video of him, the Iraqi government has said.

The world’s most wanted terrorist was seen for the first time in five years in an 18 minute recording in which he talks about the end of the Islamic State caliphate.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is holed up in remote areas of either Syria or Iraq
AFP or licensors

The 47-year-old 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.

Iraqi terror mastermind Baghdadi is believed to be hiding out in an isolated area of either Iraq or Syria – once part of the huge swathe of territory ISIS once controlled.

The jihadists are now waging regular insurgent-style attacks against security forces in both countries.

Hisham al-Hashemi, a security adviser to the Iraqi government, said officials had narrowed his whereabouts from 17 to four possible four locations.

These are in the desert of Iraq’s Anbar province or in the eastern desert of Homs in Syria, he said.

Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi said Islamic State’s capabilities had “greatly reduced” but that the group still posed a threat.

“Regarding the location of Baghdadi, we can’t give intelligence information right now but it’s clear from the video that he’s in a remote area,” he said.

DESERT HIDEOUT

According to terrorism expert Dr Paul Stott, from the Henry Jackson Society, the background in the video is unlikely to provide clues to his location.

Instead, an electronic foot print or the behaviour of his followers are more likely to lead to his hideout being uncovered.

“What we most likely have is an eight day window between the Easter Sunday attacks, and the video being uploaded.

“If they have a lead, it is either via the upload, or what people have been doing in that eight day period.

“If particular groups of people under surveillance by the authorities have been missing in that eight day period, if they were travelling in convoy or behaving differently, that could be a sign of when or where this video was made.”

The US Department of Justice has a $25 million bounty on al-Baghdadi’s head.

He was said to have been seriously wounded in an air strike in 2015 and he has dodged several other attempts to kill him.

The ISIS leader was also reportedly killed in an airstrike in Raqqa in 2o17.

In October last year, it was claimed he had been killed in a Russian airstrike on a Syrian village.


Al-Baghdadi remains a top target for the Central Intelligence Agency and US military’s elite Joint Special Operations Command, which includes Navy’s SEAL Team 6.

In February, 2019, it was reported that Al-Baghdadi was hiding out in deserts in eastern Syria after successfully fleeing an attempted coup from militants to seize control of ISIS.

The ISIS leader declaring the Islamic State’s Caliphate from the Grand Mosque in Mosul
Reuters

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