Update: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The relative impenetrability of Syria and Iraq has opened up a chasm of uncertainty about the leading figures of the Islamic State group. The bombings reported a few days ago were initially said to have hit al-Baghdadi’s convoy in the Anbar Province, Iraq. His status was reported as unknown.

Since then there have been conflicting reports as to his welfare and whereabouts. There have been reports that the attack by Iraqi forces was a result of Russian intelligence, and accordingly, some Russian media outlets have misleadingly reported al-Baghdadi’s death/injury:

http://russia-insider.com/en/breaking-isis-leader-abu-bakr-al-baghdadi-killed-air-strike/ri10403 

https://www.rt.com/news/318291-iraq-air-force-isis/

Western media and the Iraqi air forces themselves have since reported that al-Baghdadi was not killed alongside the few ISIS commanders and Hisbah members who were. Reuters, and the BBC, and Qatari station Al-Jazeera have all claimed that al-Baghdadi was not killed. Pentagon officials have also stated that they cannot confirm any reports of al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts or welfare.

So it seems that the Caliph has survived, but until audio clips surface as they did before, we will be no closer to truly knowing whether he is still the twelfth, Maadi-calling Caliph.

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