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In a Rare Video, Islamic State Leader al-Baghdadi Seeks to Divert Attention From His Group's Losses

MIN READApr 30, 2019 | 20:10 GMT

Protesters burn a picture of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on June 9, 2017, in New Delhi.

Protesters burn a picture of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on June 9, 2017, in New Delhi.

(PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

In his first public video in almost five years, the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, appeared in a 19-minute recording released by the group's Al-Furqan media arm April 29. Al-Baghdadi hasn't been seen on video since he declared the establishment of the caliphate in June 2014, the only other time he's ever appeared on video. In contrast to his princely appearance in Mosul's great mosque in Iraq in the earlier video, he appeared disheveled and worn in the latest recording and was sitting on the floor in front of a white tarp covering the wall. But given the many false reports of his death over the past five years, this video does serve to demonstrate he remains alive. We do not, however, believe that this video will elicit the same sort of widespread response among grassroots jihadists that Abu Mohammed al-Adnani's call to action did in September...

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