IS still remains a deadly threat, says Iraq's PM, following Baghdad's reemergence

IS still remains a deadly threat, says Iraq's PM, following Baghdad's reemergence
The latest appearance of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an unknown location shows Islamic State group remains a threat to the international community, according to Iraq's prime minister.
2 min read
30 April, 2019
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared for the first time in five years on Monday [Screenshot]
The Islamic State group remains a potent threat to the world despite reduced capabilities, Iraq's Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi warned on Tuesday, following the emergence of its wanted leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, in a video.

His appearance caused shockwaves after appearing on camera for the first time in five years, when he said that the so-called caliphate was not yet finished, despite its territories falling in Syria and Iraq.

"The battle for Baghouz is over," he said, sitting cross-legged on a cushion and addressing three men whose faces have been blurred.

He referred to a string of IS defeats, including its one-time Iraqi capital Mosul and Sirte in Libya, but insisted the jihadists had not "surrendered" territory.

"God ordered us to wage 'jihad.' He did not order us to win," he said.

Later in the video, his voice described the 21 April Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed 253 people and wounded nearly 500, as "vengeance for their brothers in Baghouz".

During a news conference in Berlin, Abdul Mahdi said IS' capabilities had "greatly reduced" but admitted the self-proclaimed caliphate is still a threat. 


Where's Baghdadi?

While Abdul Mahdi was unable to decipher the location the infamous IS leader made his latest video, he says al-Baghdadi had made his latest appearance in a "remote area" - without elaborating on which country he is in.

"Regarding the location of Baghdadi, we can't give intelligence information right now but it's clear from the video that he's in a remote area," Abdul Mahdi explained.

Activists and professional analysts are, alongside intelligence officials are currently trying to pinpoint al-Baghdadi's whereabouts based on his new video.

Security adviser to the Iraqi government, Hisham al-Hashemi, said officials had narrowed his whereabouts from 17 to a possible four locations.

"These are in the desert of Iraq's Anbar (province) or in the (eastern) desert of Homs in Syria," he said.

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