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Syria, is Al-Baghdadi alive? The Isis “Caliph” is back on video after 5 years

The Isis leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, returns on video five years after his last appearance and talks about the defeat of the Islamic State in Baghouz, the Sri Lanka attacks and new pledges in Africa. If confirmed it’s authenticity, it would the first time in 5 years that he appears on video

Is Isis leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi alive? A video just posted by Furqam, web propaganda organ of the Islamic State, shows the “Caliph” while discussing with other people (with obscured faces) about the war against the “Crusaders”, the battles lost against the SDF in Baghouz in Syria ( Deir Ezzor) and the alliances signed in Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as the protests in Sudan and Algeria. Furthermore, there is a comment (audio only) on the attacks in Sri Lanka. This suggests that it is recent. At the moment checks are underway to see if it is genuine or if it is a fake. For now, Western intelligence is cautious, as they want to have the results of the analysis before they express themselves. If its authenticity were confirmed, it would be the first time that the founder of Daesh has been revived after the sermon at the Mosul Grand Mosque in 2014.

Local sources say that the founder Daesh is located in the desert of Badia Al-Sham between Homs and Deir Ezzor. This is confirmed by the sudden boom of militia attacks on the Syrian army (SAA) in the area

According to several local sources, Al-Baghadi could be located in southern Syria between Homs and Deir Ezzor. He would find temporary refuge in the desert of Badia Al-Sham, where there is a large Isis group, which the army of Damascus (SAA) never managed to defeat. This would be confirmed by the boom in attacks that the SAA recently suffered from the Islamic State in the area. However, there are no official confirmations. The Caliph was first reported in Iraq in Qaim and then in the Middle Euphrates River Valley (MERV) in Hajin. Subsequently, following the offensive of Jazeera Storm’s SDF, his tracks were lost again. Someone said he was on the border between the two countries, ready to join the Daesh militiamen in the Hadr desert. Others, on the other hand, have begun to detect a spike in jihadist blitzes west of the Euphrates, associating it with its probable presence.

For Al-Baghdadi, the new video is likely to be counterproductive. Isis is no longer an army, but a two-headed monster (guerrillas and single attacks). Moreover, many militants Daesh did not like that the Caliph abandoned them at critical moments, only to reappear in finished games

The video of Al-Baghdadi is significant, as it arrives at the moment of maximum distress for Isis. The Islamic State has now lost everything from the military point of view and is turning into a two-headed monster. On the one hand in guerrilla warfare, in countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya. On the other hand in a group of terrorists, which aims at single and striking actions, such as Al Qaeda. The latest attacks in Sri Lanka confirm this. The return of the Caliph, therefore, (as long as it is confirmed) is late and risks being counterproductive. Many Daesh elements, in fact, did not appreciate the video, finding it a mockery and an offense. They believe that their leader abandoned them in the most critical moments, only to reappear when all the games were over. Consequently, it is no longer credible or appropriate and would have done well to remain in oblivion.

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