Who is Baghdadi, the ISIS chief reportedly killed by US?
If reports are to be believed, ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has died. This isn't the first time his death has made it to news, but since US President Donald Trump has tweeted about it, information seems believable now. Naturally, his demise would serve as a blow to the crumbling "caliphate" ISIS. But who is Baghdadi? Let's tell you.
Baghdadi was born in 1971, was a cleric in 2003
Believed to be born in North Baghdad's Samarra in 1971, Baghdadi was a cleric in 2003 when US forces invaded the country to topple Saddam Hussein's government. Around 2004-05, he was kept at a US facility named Camp Bucca where he came in touch with other militants. After US officials released him, committing the biggest blunder of their lives, he rejoined militancy.
Baghdadi was part of al Qaeda, later became ISI's chief
Baghdadi was associated with al Qaeda and in 2010, was made the chief of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). As the head of the outfit, he overlooked several attacks in Mosul. He held the post till 2013 when ISI formally expanded to Syria. Defying al Qaeda's Ayman al-Zawahri openly, Baghdadi announced the formation of ISIS or ISIL in 2013.
There's a reason why Baghdadi grew in ranks
When Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in 2011, Baghdadi reportedly wanted to avenge his death with 100 terrorist attacks across Iraq. Years later, he was able to achieve more than what he set out to do. Since he has been meticulously involved in planning and chose to remain in the frontline of the operations, he accomplished more than other al Qaeda bosses.
Apparently, Baghdadi liked keeping ISIS fighters confused
An ISIS defector once said Baghdadi liked having a sense of mystery around him. "He would only introduce himself to top-level commanders. The minor ones, he did not introduce himself to. But what was interesting was that in a large group, no one was sure which person in the room was really him. He wanted it to be confused," he told Newsweek.
Baghdadi played a role in Syria's civil war too
By expanding ISIS to Syria, Baghdadi also played a role in the country's civil war to remove President Bashar al Assad from power. In 2014, ISIL announced itself as a "caliphate", a move that invited criticism from the Muslim world and historians. Unhindered by ire, Baghdadi kept doing his job, planning several terrorist attacks across the globe and killing thousands.
After ISIS fell, Baghdadi asked fighters to remain hopeful
A few months ago, when the US announced that most of the territories have been freed from ISIS' clutches, questions were asked about Baghdadi's whereabouts. In a clip released in April, he purportedly asked fighters to not lose hope and remember what they are battling for. But with the demise (?) of the dreaded terrorist, ISIS' heydays have come to an end, for good.