Special report on the reported death of Abu Bakr al-Bahgdadi leader of ISIS.
Reports emerged last weekend that IS caliph Abu Bakr al-Bahgdadi may have been killed, or at least injured, in a US airstrike.
According to Iraqi media, two separate airstrikes on November 7 on al-Qaim, a city near the Syrian border south west of Mosul, targeted an armoured vehicle used by the IS leader. A nearby hospital was subsequently evacuated by IS militants who brought in injured fighters for emergency treatment. The Interior Ministry issued a list of those killed including two bodyguards of Baghdadi, four IS Emirs and two of its governors (for Anbar and Qaim).
US officials could not corroborate the information and local intelligence sources stated that those killed and injured were not senior leaders of the extremist group.
Giving added weight to the probability that Abu Bakr al-Bahgdadi remained alive is the fact that there was little or no reaction from the IS. Typically, it is traditionally the case that such groups will announce the deaths of their leaders without delay for religious reasons. This was the case with Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, one of Baghdadi’s top lieutenants who effectively governed operations in Iraq. His death was reported on several twitter accounts connected to the IS after the 10 vehicle convoy in which he was travelling was targeted in an airstrike near the city of Mosul that same day.
Therefore the audio speech released by ISIS on 13 Nov and reported from Abu Bakr al-Bahgdadi was confirmed by Global Risk Awareness sources to be from him. From a transcription provided by Global Risk Awareness the following key statements come out:
“Here is Obama who has ordered the deployment of 1,500 additional soldiers under the claim that they are advisors because the Crusaders’ airstrikes and constant bombardment – day and night – upon the position of the Islamic State have not prevented its advance, nor weakened its resolve.”
This is a clear statement to try and undermine the deployment of US Advisors but of note no mention is made of the British troops being sent as trainers and his rhetoric is clearly aimed at trying to reinforce his own supporters.
“There is no good in you if you incline towards the Dunya and desert or turn back. No, rather you were made for good and good was made for you. You are the fuel and support of every jihad battleground, and from amongst its leaders.”
Dunya is a word meaning “world” and this is Al-Baghdadi calling for a wider response. Al-Baghdadi then went on to call supporters to join their locally based groups across the globe. In essence he is calling for a wider Jihad. This approach, combined with the time taken for ISIS to get this statement out, suggests he has been shaken by the airstrike and may well have been injured or come close to injury. From this is it increasingly probable that ISIS will try to ease the pressure against them in Syria and Iraq by trying to stimulate greater terrorist activity across the globe. In global threat terms, they are rapidly becoming the new Al Qaeda.
This report has been produced from material provided by 5 Dimensions Consultants and Global Risk Awareness