SITE Intelligence Group allegedly revealed photos Monday of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an Islamic State leader who has not been pictured since July 2014.
Rita Katz, Director of SITE Intelligence Group, tweeted Monday that ISIS’s Furquan group released the video.
“BREAKING,” Katz tweeted, “ISIS’ Furqan issues new video showing leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, marking the first time he is shown in a video since his July 2014 sermon at the Great Mosque in Mosul.”
“The video shows Baghdadi in a casual conversational setting with others (their faces blurred),” Katz continued in a thread. “He talks about war against “Crusaders” and about battles in Baghouz, Syria being over, indicating that this interview was filmed somewhat recently.”
“In the vid, titled “In the Hospitality of the Emir of the Believers,” Baghdadi praises Sri Lanka attackers over images of the attackers/attack (though not in the visual interview section; the audio may have thus been added via a later recording)–calling it revenge for Baghouz”
“Baghdadi also accepts pledges from BurkinaFaso and Mali, directly mentioning Abu Walid al-Sahrawi and praising him and his attacks against French forces and their allies. This marks ISIS’ most significant endorsement/embrace of Sahrawi to date.”
“There is serious danger not only to the fact that Baghdadi, ISIS’ so-called Caliph, is still alive–but also that he is able to reemerge to his supporters and reaffirm the group’s us-vs-the-world message after all the progress made against the group.”
The United States will give $25 million to anyone who can reveal information on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to Fox News.
This is a developing story.
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