Exclusive: Islamic State leader Baghdadi almost certainly alive – Kurdish security official

FILE PHOTO: A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi making what would have been his first public appearance, at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul
FILE PHOTO: A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi making what would have been his first public appearance, at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV/File Photo

July 17, 2017

Sulaimania, IRAQ (Reuters) – A top Kurdish counter-terrorism official said on Monday he was 99 percent sure that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alive and located south of the Syrian city of Raqqa, after reports that he had been killed.

“Baghdadi is definitely alive. He is not dead. We have information that he is alive. We believe 99 percent he is alive,” Lahur Talabany told Reuters in an interview.

“Don’t forget his roots go back to al Qaeda days in Iraq. He was hiding from security services. He knows what he is doing.”

Iraqi security forces have ended three years of Islamic State rule in the Iraqi city of Mosul, and the group is under growing pressure in Raqqa – both strongholds in the militants’ crumbling self-proclaimed caliphate.

Still, Talabany said Islamic State was shifting tactics despite low morale and it would take three or four years to eliminate the group.

After defeat, Islamic State would wage an insurgency and resemble al-Qaeda on “steroids”, he said.

The future leaders of Islamic State were expected to be intelligence officers who served under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the men credited with devising the group’s strategy.

(Reporting by Michael Georgy; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

  • Sui-Juris

    Almost certainly dead, and almost certainly alive. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a man torn between two worlds. 🙂

  • barskii

    The destruction of Mecca will be in Gods hands – it is in the Bible.
    the Muslim Promised Virgin’s are not human – (They are Goats).
    If we can get rid of McCain and stop all his money for war gimmicks. and McMaster’s is Obama’s Army or deep State?
    I don’t see many NEW people for Trump in the Swamp.
    Over half of the Department of Defense still has Obama absentee appointees from the Muslim Brotherhood in their place?.

  • Just Saying-2

    And people wonder why Americans are concerned about what our intelligence agencies know or say.

  • “I’m a Rooster!”

    [If] he is still alive, he is certainly afraid and running. Perhaps he is contemplating a new profession?

  • Sonny Shaw

    Unless you have a body and can identify Baghdadi he is not dead. What may have taken place is a try by Baghdadi to go underground and become a different person…Plus there are to many people out for the reward on his head 25 million is nothing to sneeze at…

  • 210’s

    Who cares about this one person? Islam is what motivates terror, get ride of that.

  • barskii

    I thought Russia Killed Him several Months ago in a bombing,
    Then America Killed Him two weeks ago –
    “Now He is alive again”???
    Must need more WAR Money???
    got to find that one, no matter how much they spend $$$, then who’s next??

    • jfbtx

      It’s again more of the liberal news reporting fake false news. The story is that they are trying to make you feel that nothing more needs to be done. When in fact more needs to be done. We need to do one of two things, either pull completely out of the area and let Russia have the oil and natural resources, or blow it completely off the face of the earth and wash our hands of it then.

      • barskii

        There sure is a bunch of lying going on?
        I don’t have a TV, so I just read a lot. maybe there are thirty Baghdadis – The “NON State of D.C.” is still full of scum.
        They need to get rid of McCain & McMasters – I was hoping that they would clean the SWAMP? guess it is taking longer to get that job done – over 1/2 of Obama’s people are still in Office stealing tractor trailer loads of money everyday.