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Iraq Analyzing Alleged Video Of ISIL Leader

July 06, 2014

Iraqi officials say they are analyzing the authenticity of a video purportedly showing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic militants who control territory in Syria and Iraq, giving a sermon in Iraq.

The video -- posted online on July 5 -- allegedly shows Baghdadi speaking during Friday Prayers on July 4 at the Great Mosque in Mosul, which militants led by his Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured last month.

Iraqi military spokesman Lieutenant General Qassim al-Mussawi said on July 6 that security-service experts are analyzing the 21-minute video to determine if it is Baghdadi speaking.

The comment by Mussawi comes one day after Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Saad Maan said the video had been analyzed and found to be 'a farce.'

Maan said Baghdadi had been wounded recently in an Iraqi military air strike and transferred to Syria for medical treatment.

Baghdadi, who on June 29 declared the establishment of an Islamic state on ISIL-held territory, ordered Muslims to obey him 'as long as I obey God.'

Baghdadi, wearing a black turban and a black robe, laid out the agenda of what he has declared the Islamic State.

Baghdadi is also known as Caliph Ibrahim as the head of the Islamic State.

An unnamed Iraqi intelligence official said the arrival of a large convoy in Mosul around midday on July 4 coincided with the blocking of cellular networks in the area.

The official said the cellular signal returned after the convoy -- allegedly carrying Baghdadi -- had left Mosul.

At least three witnesses in Mosul said a man introduced as Baghdadi had entered the mosque accompanied by gunmen dressed in uniforms worn by ISIL militants.

With reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters


Copyright (c) 2014. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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