The Islamic State group’s obscure chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has allegedly appeared for the first time in five years in a propaganda video released on Monday (Apr 29) by the militant organization and stated to last week’s deadly attack in Sri Lanka.
It is vague when the footage was filmed, but the man said to be Baghdadi mentioned to last week’s deadly attack in Sri Lanka and to the months-long fight for IS’s final stronghold Baghouz, which ended in March. “The battle for Baghouz is over,” he said, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and addressing three men whose faces have been distorted.
In a part in which the man is not on camera, his voice referred to the Apr 21 Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed 253 people and wounded nearly 500, as “retribution for their brothers in Baghouz”.
He was identified as Baghdadi by both the SITE Intelligence Group, which trails IS, and Hisham al-Hashemi, an Iraqi expert on the group.