ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has re-emerged in a new video, after nearly 5 years of absence.
In the video, he blames the “savagery” of Christians for ISIS’ defeat in the battle of Baghouz and vowed to get revenge for his dead militants.
Al-Baghdadi, who is the leader of the Islamist terrorist group, was last seen in July 2014, when he gave his last sermon at the Great Mosque in Mosul, Iraq. He has not appeared in a video since then.
He reappeared for the first time in a propaganda video released today by the jihadist organisation.
In the video, the 47-year-old sat cross-legged with a rifle resting against the wall near his arm. The Iraqi militant, who suffers from diabetes, spoke slowly, often pausing for several seconds in the middle of his sentences.
It is unclear when the footage was filmed, but Baghdadi referred in the past tense to the months-long fight for Baghouz, IS’s final bastion in eastern Syria, which ended last month. A written script at the start of the video dates it to earlier in April, but the authenticity and exact date of the recording has not yet been independently verified, Daily Mail reports.
Sitting on a cushion and speaking to three men whose faces have been blurred, Baghdadi said: “The battle for Baghouz is over.”
He continued: “There will be more to come after this battle”, adding that his group is fighting a “battle of attrition”.