The resurfacing of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi confirms what experts have said about ISIS: the group may have lost all its territory in Iraq and Syria, but is not dead and gone.
Al Baghdadi was seen in a video released by the ISIS on April 29, five years after he proclaimed the Caliphate in Mosul, Iraq. The video comes weeks after ISIS lost all its territory, after being defeated in Baghuz, Syria. But al Baghdadi’s whereabouts have remained a mystery. The video, of course, gives no clue about that. It shows him seated on a carpeted floor, with matching cushions, and an automatic rifle propped up against the wall. He is wearing a black tunic and a black cloth over his head.
With this, he has shown to the world that he is alive. Al Baghdadi also wants to tell doubters that he is still in charge. He may also have aimed to provide inspiration to ISIS-inspired individuals or groups that exist in many places across that the game is not over yet, and that they are still very much in it.
In the video, al Baghdadi says the attacks in Sri Lanka, which the ISIS claimed three day after they took place, were carried out in revenge for the defeat inflicted on ISIS in Baghuz, their last stronghold in Syria. After the battle, US President Donald Trump declared that the Caliphate was no more. Baghdadi projects the Baghuz defeat as a temporary setback from which ISIS will soon recover.
New York Times reported that the video may have been recorded before the events in Sri Lanka, as that portion is only an audio.