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Former Iraqi Minister: ISIL Ringleader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Hiding in Libya

FARS News Agency logo FARS News Agency 16/07/2019 FARS News Agency

Former Iraqi Minister Baqer Jabr al-Zubeidi said ISIL ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is hiding in Libya and continues to command terrorist operations from the African country.

Al-Zubeidi told the Arabic-language Baghdad Post news website that al-Baghdadi is presently in Libya coordinating ISIL's terrorist operations throughout the Middle-East.

The Iraqi politician noted that the ISIL is trying to take control of some regions in the African continent covering parts of Libya, Egypt and Tunisia.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wearing a hat: Former Iraqi Minister: ISIL Ringleader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Hiding in Libya © Provided by FARS News Agency Former Iraqi Minister: ISIL Ringleader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Hiding in Libya

The statements by the former minister comes amid contradictory reports on the fate of the ISIL leader. While some reports claim that he is still hiding in Iraq near the border with Syria, others have stressed that Abu Bakr al-Bghdadi is dead.

In early June, Iraqi sources reported that al-Baghdadi was hiding in the Western deserts of al-Anbar province at the border with Syria.

The Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website quoted an intelligence source in Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi popular forces) command center in al-Anbar province as saying that according to the latest intel, al-Baghdadi has sheltered in a hidden tunnel in al-Husayniyat region in the Northern parts of the town of al-Ratbah in Western al-Anbar.

Related slideshow: Rise and fall of the Islamic State caliphate (Provided by Reuters)

He added that the security forces are mulling operations to take control of the tunnel, and said that given the heavy deployment of security forces in al-Ratbah region near the border with Syria and closure of all roads, al-Baghdadi and the militants under his command cannot escape.

The source underlined that given the fact that the US fighter jets have not bombed the ISIL's hideouts and tunnels in the region, the American forces are likely aware of his presence in al-Ratbah desert areas.

The speculations come after al-Baghdadi made his first appearance in April, after five years of absence, in a video in which he acknowledged the defeat of the terrorist group's fighters in the battle for Baghouz in Syria.

The video was reportedly filmed earlier in April.

In recent years, Baghdadi's death has been reported multiple times, however, the terrorist leader has re-emerged time and time again.

The Sun claimed, citing Zaid Hamid, who is a co-founder of the BrassTacks threat analysis think-tank, last month that al-Baghdadi is allegedly hiding in a distant region of Afghanistan.

"Note the style of the bedding and the pillows….Is he already in Afghanistan?" Zaid Hamid pointed out.


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