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16 Jun 2017

Sources: ISIS founder Baghdadi possibly killed in Russian airstrike

Sources in the Russian Defense Ministry said information suggesting ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been killed in a Russian airstrike, is being analyzed.

The airstrike reportedly targeted a meeting of ISIS leaders near the Syrian city of Raqqa on May 28, where Baghdadi was present.

Russia is awaiting confirmation on Baghdadi's death. Previous reports of his death were proven false.

In context

Russian airstrike may have killed ISIS leader Baghdadi
Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

Early life

Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was born Ibrahim al- Samarrai in 1971 near Samarra, Iraq.

He grew up in a religious family, holds a bachelor's degree, a master's degree and a PhD in Islamic Studies.

In 2003, he joined Salaafi jihadist insurgency when the US-led coalition invaded Iraq.

He was captured by US forces in 2005 but released they considered him an "unremarkable" civilian target.

History

Baghdadi separated from al-Qaeda to form ISIS in 2010

Baghdadi emerged as the al-Qaeda leader in Iraq but he parted ways with the organization to form the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in 2010.

His reputation as a ruthless battlefield tactician made him popular among young jihadists.

Under him, ISIS went from relative anonymity to the single most powerful terrorist organization in the world.

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Powerful

Baghdadi declares himself 'caliph' in June 2014

In June 2014, after ISIS captured the major Iraqi city of Mosul, Baghdadi proclaimed himself "caliph" or leader of all Muslims.

In 2015, at the height of its power, ISIS-controlled territory ran from northern Syria through towns and villages across the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, all the way till Iraqi capital Baghdad's outskirts.

ISIS has inspired several terrorist attacks across the world.

11 Jul 2017

After a month of reports, ISIS confirms founder Baghdadi dead

Almost a month after reports emerged that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed in a Russian airstrike, the terrorist outfit has confirmed the news.

Iraqi media reported that the ISIS said the 45-year-old was killed in Nineveh.

A source said a ban on speaking about his death had been lifted.

ISIS terrorists are in the process of choosing a new chief.

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