Islamic State Leader Reportedly Dies In Air Raid

| by Reve Fisher
Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Reported leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has allegedly died in a U.S. air raid in Syria.

Sources in Iraq's Nineveh province stated that al-Baghdadi, leader of the DAESH terrorist organization, and other leaders of the Islamic State were injured during an air strike at one of the group command headquarters in Raqqa, Syria.

"Iraqi aircraft hit al-Baghdadi's convoy as it was moving [toward] Karabla to attend a meeting of the Daesh [ISIS] terrorist leaders," according to a statement from security officers in Iraq, as reported by Mirror.

Although officials did not confirm whether al-Baghdadi was fatally wounded, pro-Daesh media agency al-Amaq reported him as deceased.

"Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed by coalition air strikes on Raqqa on the fifth day of Ramadan," read the statement, as reported by Yenis Afak.

Another source alleged that al-Baghdadi died in Mosul, Iraq, an Islamic State-held fortress.

Originally named Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai, al-Baghdadi’s background has always been considered a mystery.

"They know physically who this guy is, but his back story is just myth," said Patrick Skinner of the Soufan Group, a security consulting firm.

"He's managed this secret persona extremely well, and it's enhanced his group's prestige - young people are really attracted to that," explained Patrick Johnston of the RAND Corporation.

He began jihadist activity after the start of the Iraq War. In 2006, he joined the Mujahideen Shura Council, which later became the Islamic State of Iraq. By 2010, he was named leader of the terrorist group.

In 2013, al-Baghdadi directed the expansion of the organization as it separated from al-Qaeda, spread throughout Syria, and renamed itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The alleged death of the leader of the Islamic State has not been confirmed by U.S. authorities.

Colonel Chris Garver, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, stated that he had "nothing to confirm this at this time." A spokesman from the Pentagon also said the organization was unaware of any "high value targets" having been killed, as noted by the Daily Mail.

Sources: Mirror, (2), Yenis Afak, Daily Mail / Photo credit: Mirror

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