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Caliph Ibrahim
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
AKA Abu Du'a
AKA Ibrahim `Awwad Ibrahim `Ali al-Badri
AKA Dr. Ibrahim `Awwad Ibrahim `Ali al-Badri
AKA Ibrahim `Awad Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarrai
AKA Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim al-Samarra'I
AKA Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim al-Samarra'I
AKA Dr. Ibrahim
AKA Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husayni al-Quraishi
AKA Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Qurashi
AKA Abu Bakr al-Husayni al-Baghdadi

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi US President Donald Trump said on 27 October 2019 that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a US military operation in northwest Syria. The US-led airstrike that targeted the hideout of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State (IS) militant group, in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib was intended to capture him alive before the IS leader detonated his explosive vest, a war monitor reported Sunday. The operation, carried out by eight helicopters and warplanes, led to the killing of nine people, including al-Baghdadi himself, his wife and a number of children. Al-Baghdadi was hiding in the house in the west of the village of Barisha in Idlib. Citing eyewitnesses, the Observatory said the US troops pulled out a body after the operation, which was thought likely to be al-Baghdadi's.

Al-Baghdadi was said to have been wounded on March 18 2015 during a US-led coalition airstrike on the al-Baaj District in the northern province of Nineveh near the Syrian border. His wounds were apparently so serious that the top IS leaders had a meeting to discuss who would replace al-Baghdadi if he died. His latest appearance was in an 18-minute video posted online in April 2019 by IS media, in which al-Baghdadi vowed to continue fighting despite the loss of his group's self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

This guy may or may not exist, and if he does exist, he may or may not exist as publicly described. He is publicly described as the leader of the Islamic State. But the accomplishments of the Islamic State in the year 2014 are rather more impressive than would have been expected from an individual with such limited prior experience. To say that he is "shadowy" is an understatement, as details of his biography are sketchy and conflicting, and even within his own circles it is said that few have met him. Given the vigor with which terrorits leaders are hunted down, this may all just be good and sensible operational security.

Or it may be that he is simply the nominal public face for an enterprise actually directed by someone else, in all probability by Ezzet [Izzat] Ibrahim Al-Douri. This aging former Baath leader might find it easy to rally former regime elements, and Sunni tribal leaders cultivated by the Baath [two of the three elements of the Caliphate], but he is probably a less attrative figure to aspiring young Jihadis, for who the personna of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would be a more attrative figurehead. Der Spiegel reported in April 2015 that early leaders of ISIS, many of whom are former Iraqi intelligence officers from ousted dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, decided to make Baghdadi caliph because he, as an "educated cleric," would "give the group a religious face."

The leader of the terrorist organisation was reportedly hiding in the Iraqi desert while the remnants of Daesh were fighting for the groups last sliver of land in Baghouz - something which caused anger among the surviving militants. Several media outlets reported on 29 April 2019 that the notorious leader of Daesh, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, made his first appearance after five years of absence in a video where he acknowledges the defeat of the terrorist group's fighters in the battle for Baghouz last month.

In the 18 minute video, Baghdadi vowed to avenge the group's killed and imprisoned militants, claiming that Daesh had already carried out 92 operations in eight countries for this purpose. He discussed the recent Sri Lanka bombings that claimed the lives of over 250 people. The video reportedly indicates that it was filmed earlier in April, but currently there is no way of verifying this information or the authenticity of the video itself.

The Guardian reported, citing intelligence sources, that Baghdadi had barely survived an assassination attempt in a village near Hajin, Syria on 10 January 2019 organised by some of his closest foreign fighters.

The New York Times reported in 2007 that Abu Abdullah al-Rashid al-Baghdadi didn't exist, though maybe this was a different guy with a similar name. In clear language, the Times quoted Brigadier General Kevin Bergner as saying the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima. ... The ruse was devised by Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was trying to mask the dominant role that foreigners play in that insurgent organization. The article continues by saying The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and then arrange for Masri to swear allegiance to him. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements.

Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and more recently the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), was established in April 2004 by long-time Sunni extremist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In January 2006, AQ-I announced formation of the Mujahidin Shura Council an umbrella organization of six groups including AQ-I and five Iraqi Sunni insurgent groups, mostly those with an Islamist ideology. Forming the Shura Council appeared to many to be an attempt by AQ-I to demonstrate that it was working cooperatively with its Iraqi Sunni hosts and not seeking their subordination. To further this impression, in April 2006, the Council announced that an Iraqi, Abdullah Rashid (aka Abu Umar) al-Baghdadi, had been appointed its leader, although there were doubts as to Baghdadis true identity.

Al-Zarqawi was killed in a US airstrike on 7 June 2006. The new leader of AQI, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, announced in October 2006 the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq, led by Iraqi national Abu Umar al-Baghdadi, in an attempt to politicize AQIs terrorist activities and place an Iraqi face on their efforts. Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Umar al-Baghdadi were killed in April 2010, marking a significant loss for the organization. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi became AQIs next leader. In July 2007, a captured AQ-I operative said Baghdadi does not exist at all, but was a propaganda tool to disguise AQ-Is large role in the insurgency.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a specially designated global terrorist under US law who is based in Syria. Baghdadi fled to Syria in 2012, expanding AQI's base of operation, and changing its name to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In 2013, Baghdadi announced a campaign of terror to include attacks against Iraqi security services, government targets, and civilians.

A video emerged on radical Islamist websites on 05 July 2014 purporting to show the self-appointed leader of the newly proclaimed Islamic Caliphate in Syria and northern Iraq. The video apparently showed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi giving a sermon at a mosque in Mosul. He appealed to his followers to help him if he is right, and put him "on the right track" if he is wrong. The video was released after Al Sumaria news reported that the representative of the International Parliament in Iraq, Dr. Haidar al-Shara said, in an interview that The Iraqi security forces carried out an operation in the city of Qaim on the border with Syria based on accurate intelligence and with the help of the Air Force where the leader of ISIL, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was seriously injured.

In a statement eulogizing Usama bin Ladin, Abu Dua threatened violent retaliation for bin Ladins death. Three days after bin Ladins death, Abu Dua claimed responsibility for an attack in Hilla, Iraq, that killed 24 policemen and wounded 72 others. On August 15, 2011, a wave of AQI suicide attacks began in Mosul, Iraq, which culminated in over 70 deaths. Shortly thereafter, Abu Dua pledged on AQIs website to carry out 100 attacks across Iraq in retaliation for bin Ladins death.

In an online speech in 2012, Baghdadi launched what he called a Breaking the Walls campaign in Iraq, aimed at freeing al-Qaida members imprisoned by U.S. forces and and expanding his territory in Iraq. True to his word, over the next year, he orchestrated a series of well-coordinated military operations, including the deadly attack on Iraqs Abu Ghraib prison in July 2013 that freed hundreds of prisoners.

Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi was designated a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the State Department under Executive Order 13224 on 04 October. Acting under the authority of and in accordance with section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224 of September 23, 2001, as amended by Executive Order 13268 of July 2, 2002, and Executive Order 13284 of January 23, 2003, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, determined that the individual known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.

Consistent with the determination in Section 10 of Executive Order 13224 that prior notice to persons determined to be subject to the Order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States would render ineffectual the blocking and other measures authorized in the Order because of the ability to transfer funds instantaneously, she determined that no prior notice needs to be provided to any person subject to this determination who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, because to do so would render ineffectual the measures authorized in the Order.

The Department of State designated Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, also known as Abu Dua, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against knowingly providing material support or resources to, or engaging in other transactions with Abu Dua, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of Abu Dua that is in the United States, or comes within the United States or the control of US persons.

The United States offered a $10 million reward for information that helps authorities kill or capture Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. This reward is second only to information leading to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the chief of al-Qaidas network.

The full nom de guerre of the Sheikh and his official title: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Qurashi al-Husseini, Emir of the State of Islam in Iraq and Syria. His name is said to be Abu Dua, Ibrahim bin Awad bin Ibrahim al-Badri ar-Radawi al-Husseini as-Samarai. The first Caliph, Abu Bakr [c.570-634] was the Prophet Mohammed's closest companion and adviser, and first convert to Islam. The name al-Baghdadi simply means "from Baghdad". The term "dua" is derived from the Arabic word meaning to 'call out' or to 'summon' - Dua is supplication or invokation-basically asking God for something. Abu is the Arabic word for father. When someone has a baby, everybody calls the father "abu-" and then the name of the baby.

He is said to be so protective of his identity that when he consults with his commanders, he wears a mask, though its not clear whether this is fact or folklore. Very little is known about Baghdadi, outside of what jihadists post on the Internet, and few of their claims can be verified.

Abu Du'a was born in Samarra in 1971, an Iraqi citizen, and has black hair, brown eyes and olive complexion. A short biography of the ISIS Sheikh was released on July 15, 2013 by some Jihadi accounts. al-Baghdadi is said to be, as was to be expected, highly educated. According to the text he has a Masters degree and PhD in Islamic Studies (poetry, history, genealogy,) at the Islamic University of Baghdad and was a renowned Professor and Preacher on these matters.

By one account, he was captured by American forces in 2005 and spent the next four years a prisoner in Camp Bucca in southern Iraq. In 2009 the US released him and transfered custody to the Iraqi government. The US built the case for continued detention, but the Iraqi government decided instead to release al-Baghdadi. But there is also another account that says there is no record that he was ever captured. The former commanding officer at Camp Bucca, the former U.S. detention facility near Umm Qasr, Iraq, told The Daily Beast that he recognized Baghdadi as the man in a photo released earlier this week by the Iraq government.

"Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim Al Badry, also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was held as a civilian internee by U.S. Forces-Iraq from early February 2004 until early December 2004, when he was released," the Pentagon said in a statement. "He was held at Camp Bucca. A Combined Review and Release Board recommended unconditional release of this detainee and he was released from U.S. custody shortly thereafter. We have no record of him being held at any other time."

In April 2010, the U.S. military killed the leaders of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi. The group named Abu Bakr as its new leader.

US-headed airstrikes targeted the jihadist group's leaders 09 Novembe 2014 when the latter were having a meeting in a house in al-Qaim, on the Iraqi-Syrian border. The airstrikes also smashed a convoy of 10 trucks, according to Sky News. The airstrike wounded the Islamic State's (IS) number one leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Sky News reported, citing Iraqi officials.

The Guardian newspaper reported in January 2018 that on November, 3, 2016, when he spoke 45 seconds on the radio with his men during the Iraqi forces offensive to restore Mosul, He was spotted immediately.... A senior Kurdish official who listened to the radio during the incident said His bodyguards took him away immediately after they realized what he had done.

A senior Iraqi intelligence official said in early May 2018 that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was in an area on the Iraqi-Syrian border and was traveling in hiding, not in a convoy, accompanied by four to five people, including his son and son-in-law. These areas appear limited on the map, but on the ground they are large areas of mountains, deserts, rivers and villages in Iraq and Syria, providing many hideouts.

Despite the September 2018 launch of a major offensive on the last pocket of the ISIS extremist group in eastern Syria, close to the Iraqi border, the leader of the terrorist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi might succeed once again in escaping, observers have warned.

Hassan Hassan, a senior research fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University said that monitoring the location of Baghdadi may not be easy. Hassan told AFP news agency that Baghdadi learned how to hide well, adding that he and his organization had learned lessons from the mistakes which ended the lives of their leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and their military commander Abu Hamza al-Muhajir in 2010, meaning that only a small number of trusted people know where is he.

Hisham al-Hashemi, an Iraqi expert on the extremist organization, said that: Baghdadi is hiding in the Syrian desert, an area between Iraq and Syria, and he moves between the Baaj (northwest of Iraq) and Hajin in Syria.

Asharq al-Awssat newspaper in September 2018 quoted security sources and other extremist groups in Pakistan as saying that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi arrived in the state of Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan after crossing the Iranian territory.

Baghdadi's relocation, according to the sources, came after the arrival of hundreds of ISIS members to the province after crossing the Iranian territory, through the city of Zahedan in eastern Iran, where sources said that the terrorist organization maintains a headquarters of the hospitality of its fighters with the knowledge and coordination with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Baghadadi, one of the worlds most wanted men, survived over the years from several air strikes and at least once had been wounded, but experts warned he was mastering the art of disguise. If Baghdadi can escape, he may join secret cells of the organization in another part of Iraq or Syria.

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Page last modified: 27-10-2019 18:00:31 ZULU