ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is seen in video footage for the first time in five years, signaling that he has remained alive in the regional defeat of the caliphate in his proclamation.
Seating on a flowering mattress in a bare-assed white room, he claimed the losses of the group in the recent fight of Baghouz, and also took a vow that the battle is not over and conveyed congratulations to the executors of the suicide bombing attacks on Easter Sunday in the hotels and churches in Sri Lanka.
His beard has become gray since his only other video appearances, In Mosul, at the Al-Nuri Mosque in Northern Iraq in 2014, July, while the first declared the intention of ISIS for recreating the Islamic caliphate. But otherwise, Baghdadi’s health was good and showed no clear sign of injury, despite countless reports in recent years that he had been wounded in an airstrike.
The timing of the video footage, which was published on Monday by Furqan channel of ISIS, seemed to ensure the widespread belief that he remained the final stand of ISIS at the battle of Baghouz in eastern Syria last month. He is thought to be hidden in the desert in either Syria or Iraq, but the video did not present any apparent clues as to his recent positions.
The director of the SITE Intelligence Group, Rita Katz claimed the video illustrates the “ serious danger” that Baghdadi still takes up a position as the leader of the group. His appearance reveals not only the fact that Baghdadi is surviving still. But the director of the SITE Intelligence Group said in a post on her Twitter account, “ 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”.