He was reported killed or injured multiple times since then.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's location has been narrowed down to just four locations after the terrorist group released a propaganda video featuring him for the first time in five years.
The video would be the first from al-Baghdadi since he was filmed in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014. In August past year, Al Furqan had released a 55-minute audio speech purportedly given by Baghdadi in which he asked his followers to keep the fight going in Iraq and Syria. The fallout of this loss was evident. This has been more problematic for the Kurds and the Western alliance backing it than the ISIS.
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The German Chancellor said ISIS had been largely defeated in the Middle East but had not completely disappeared.
In the following years, the jihadist militia was pushed back with the help of an global military coalition.
Late last month, James Jeffrey, U.S. special envoy for Syria, admitted, "We don't know where he is, and finding the top leadership of ISIS or other terrorist groups is always a priority". He bragged his group carried out 92 attacks in eight countries to avenge the loss of territory in Syria, citing Sri Lanka, Libya and Saudi Arabia, without offering evidence for his claim.
"There will be more to come after this battle", he added, vowing to "drain" his enemies "of all their capabilities-human, military, economic, logistic, in everything-today's battle is a battle of attrition". Baghdadi was hinting that the IS's wars will also last for a long period.
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But the main objective of the video seemed to be to signal to followers that the group not only survives, but is also expanding worldwide. He commends Australian "media knight", Abd Al-'Ilah Al-Australi and slain French brothers Fabian and Jean-Michel Clain.
Other experts such as Rita Katz, director of the Site intelligence group, saw the video as alarming to the West.
On Monday, the sister of the suspected ringleader of Sri Lanka's bombings claimed that up to 18 members of her family were missing and feared dead since the massive suicide attacks and subsequent police raids.
Much of his message is given over to hailing prominent Islamic State figures who died fighting in Baghouz, 13 of whom he names, including Fabien and Jean-Michel Clain, French brothers who are suspected of playing a role in Islamic State attacks in Paris. This constantly evolving method of Do-It-Yourself terrorism poses new challenges for security and intelligence agencies, specifically in South Asia, where intra-state cooperation on these matters lies somewhere between being absolutely basic to non-existent.
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