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Fake it like Baghdadi: Why his latest video is alarming


New Delhi, May 01: In the aftermath of the ghastly Sri Lanka bombings, the chief of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi issued a video message. This is in fact the first time he is appearing on video since his appearance in July 2014.

Sitting cross legged with an assault rifle, a heavier Baghdadi when compared t0 2014 termed the attacks in Colombo as a revenge strike. The video was put out by Al-Furqan, the central media ministry of the Islamic State.

This image made from video posted on a militant website on Monday, April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, being interviewed by his groups Al-Furqan media outlet. Al-Bagdadi acknowledged in his first video since June 2014 that IS lost the war in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz that was captured last month by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

Immediately after the blasts, some ISIS channels praised the attacks. It was only two days later did the ISIS claim responsibility for the Easter Day strikes.

The authenticity of the video featuring Baghdadi has not been questioned. Indian agencies tell OneIndia that the man in the video is Baghdadi himself. He is heavier and in the video that appears to be genuine, he has sent out a loud and strong message.

Since 2016 there have been numerous claims about the death of ISIS chief, who calls himself the Caliph. Russia had claimed that he had been killed, following which Amaq, the official news agency of the ISIS had also said that their leader had died.

After his first video in 2014, he would post several audio clips calling on the ISIS fighters to attack. He would keep wear a mask over his face while issuing statements and this earned him the name invisible Sheikh.

The latest video is something would worry agencies world wide. This is the first time that he has surfaced since the defeat of the ISIS in various countries. Agencies world over said that the ISIS had fallen. The activities of the outfit had gone down considerably and were largely restricted to the social media.

Video of ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi emerges, talks about Sri Lanka blasts

Around a year back, an audio clip with Baghdadi speaking was circulated. He is heard telling his fighters to return to their home country. He made it clear that the ISIS may have fallen in Iraq and Syria, but the fighters should return to their home land and strike.

Indian agencies say that Baghdadi's latest video is sure a matter of concern for everyone. The fighters are bound to be enthusiastic now after their leader has emerged. He has been a major rallying point for the entire outfit and his emergence is sure bound to breathe some life into the outfit and its terrorists.

Take the case of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda post Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden. Both outfits have struggled to keep their fighters enthusiastic. The Al-Qaeda has made failed attempts repeatedly to revive.

With Baghdadi's video emerging, analysts say that it was a well thought out ploy by the ISIS. They neither confirmed nor denied his death every time there was such news. They kept testing the waters and realised that the fight in Iraq and Syria was over now to a large extent. The only way to keep the outfit going was to carry out strikes in the heartland. With Baghdadi returning, intelligence agencies feel that the chances of ISIS attacks world over are bound to increase.

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