Baghdadi who declared himself the Caliph is a heavily guarded man and has several tricks up his sleeve to avoid detection.
He only meets with a select few persons and avoid all form of electronic communication which makes the job of tracking him extremely difficult. The US intelligence which has conducted a series of raids in Iraq and Syria has managed to gather information after cracking 7 terabytes of data regarding Baghdadi and his modus operandi.
How Baghdadi avoids surveillance?
Baghdadi keeps himself up to date with the day to day events in the ISIS. He is the one who issues the final orders before a major strike is launched. However what makes it even more difficult to nab him is that he has this uncanny knack of avoiding being tracked.
He only meets with a select few people. Information that the US intelligence has managed to get suggests that there are only four emirs or leaders of the ISIS he meets. All these meetings take place in Raqqa which is in Syria. He meets with the emirs only when he wants to. When he indicates that a meeting should be fixed, he sends only his trusted driver to pick them up.
The emirs are not allowed to carry their cell phones or any other electronic device to the location where they are meant to be picked up from. Electronic communication devices are the easiest way to track a persons location.
Baghdadi has also instructed his emirs not to speak with him directly. Unless there is a very important meeting he would not meet with them. If there is information that has to be passed on regularly it is Baghdadi's wife who is told to pass on the information.
Moreover she would pass on the information to the wives of the emirs. The women play the role of carriers in the ISIS set up. However Baghdadi would only pass on information to his wife and would not entertain any other women.
Now it is clear that Baghdadi is hidden somewhere in Raqqa. He has moved between Iraq and Syria several times. He gives equal importance to both Iraq and Syria. However what beats the intelligence officials is how he manages to move between the two countries without being spotted.
News of his injury or death is floated by his own men. This time around too he had floated wrong information regarding his death which was publicized by the Iran radio. This created a bit of confusion in the minds of the intelligence agencies as a result of which he moved out of Iraq.
However the news regarding Baghdadi's death was carefully played out as it had been denied by the ISIS almost immediately. The ISIS needs only a couple of hours to ensure that he is moved around safely. The ISIS after moving him out immediately denied the news of his death and claimed that he had been severely injured.
The denial came as several cadres of the ISIS had been demoralized with the news of his death.
Baghdadi is crucial for the prospects of the ISIS and hence this denial was extremely important. Now it is learnt that even the news of him being injured badly was fake and all the ISIS was doing was to buy time to move Baghdadi around.