Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State terror organization, can be seen on video footage for the first time in five years. The video was distributed via the Telegram app by Al-Furqan, the news agency of IS. In July 2014, al-Baghdadi was last seen on video footage. Last summer IS did publish a speech by the leader.
The eighteen-minute video shows al-Baghdadi and others in an informal conversation. The faces of the other people present were blurred. The leader talks about a war against “crusaders” and says the battle in the Syrian city of Baghouz is over. This indicates that the conversation was filmed fairly recently. After all, on March 23 the city was liberated from the hands of IS. According to the graph at the beginning of the video, the images date from the beginning of April.
In the video, al-Baghdadi praises the perpetrators of Sri Lanka and calls their actions revenge for Baghouz. Rita Katz, director of SITE Intelligence Group, reports that on Twitter. His words can be heard in combination with images of the attack and the terrorists in Sri Lanka. Possibly this audio was only added after the conversation.
The IS leader is also positive about Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, leader of IS in the Sahara region, and praised the man and his attacks on French forces and their allies.
Al-Baghdadi also says in the conversation that his organization will take revenge for the militants who were murdered and imprisoned. The Islamic State has already carried out 92 operations in eight countries “out of revenge for their brothers in Shaam,” a designation for the region of the Levant.
1) BREAKING: #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