Isil leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi seen for first time in five years in new video

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“Your brothers will never forget you and they will avenge you,” he said.

In reality, hundreds of suspected Isil fighters surrendered to Kurdish forces before Baghuz was captured in late March. Baghdadi acknowledged Isil’s defeat there but said the jihadist would continue “a war of attrition” against its enemies.  

Baghdadi, who is in his late forties, is among the world’s most-wanted men and Western intelligence agencies will be scouring the video for any scraps of information which could reveal his location. 

Analysts believe it is most likely he is hiding in the sparsely-populated desert in the west of Iraq, near the Syrian border. The US has offered a $25 million (£19 million) reward for information leading to his death or capture. 

The was released by al-Furqan, Isil’s official media unit. Baghdadi has released several audio recordings through al-Furqan in recent years but Monday’s video was the first time he since 2014 he has appeared on video.

He made reference to recent events including the overthrow of the presidents of Algeria and Sudan and the re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu as the prime minister of Israel.   

The video is set a room whose walls are covered in white cloth. As with many Isil propaganda videos, its appears to be a sophisticated production, with high-quality sound and lighting as well as graphics. 



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