ISIS Leader Seriously Ill After Assassin Poisons Food

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Man believed to be Abu al-BaghdadiMan believed to be Abu al-Baghdadi

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is currently critically ill after his food was poisoned by an alleged assassin. Three other terrorist leaders were also affected by the assassination attempt.

Baghdadi is credited with transforming the militant group al-Qaeda in Iraq into the powerful jihadist militant group that currently controls large parts of Syria and Iraq, according to the Daily Mail.

U.S. officials have been trying for years to capture or kill Baghdadi, going so far as to offer a $10 million reward in 2011 for any information regarding his whereabouts. Earlier this year, it was falsely claimed that he had been killed in an air strike.

The U.S. may now have reasons to celebrate after a long campaign of unsuccessful assassination attempts. 

"There were intelligence reports that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and three leading commanders consumed food containing poison," said a source close to ISIS, according to the AhlulBayt News Agency. 

Baghdadi is apparently "suffering from severe poisoning" and he and the other three commanders have been taken to an unknown location where they will be cared for under strict supervision. 

Unlike al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who regularly made his appearance known through publicized messages, Baghdadi is more reclusive and constantly on the move throughout Iraq and Syria in order to avoid air strikes.  According to AhlulBayt, this means that only those closest to al-Baghdadi ever know his location, which could imply that the assassination attempt came from inside the leader's inner circle. 

The incident occurred near the Syrian border in the south-west of Mosul, AhlulBayt reports. ISIS has already begun a campaign of arrests in the area to find and most likely kill those responsible.

This event comes after a number of senior ISIS leaders were killed during a meeting when a malfunction caused one of the attendee's explosive belts to detonate, according to The Daily Mail.

A statement from the Al-Sumaria Iraqi media outlet stated that "The meeting was held to prepare for an attack on the positions of the security forces in Hamrin Mountains, al-Zawiya area and Ajil area in Salahuddin Province."

The Daily Mail reports that 16 jihadists were killed in total. 

Sources: The Daily Mail, AhlulBayt News Agency / Photo Credit: The Daily Mail

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