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ISIS has released footage of a man that they claim is their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for the first time in roughly five years.
The terror leader declared that the “battle for Baghouz is over,” referring to the last ISIS stronghold in eastern Syria which was taken from them several weeks ago. He also vowed revenge for ISIS fighters who have been killed or jailed in recent times.
“Truthfully, the battle of Islam and its people against the cross and its people is a long battle,” he says in the footage. “The battle of Baghuz is over. But it did show the savagery, brutality and ill intentions of the Christians towards the Muslim community.”
The text accompanying the video also praised the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that killed over 250 people.
“Americans and Europeans failed as we congratulate our brothers in Sri Lanka for their allegiance to the caliphate,” the text says. “And we advise them to stick to the cause of God and unity and to be a thorn in the chest of the crusaders. We ask God to accept their martyrdom and help the brothers fulfill the journey they started.”
The lack of video proof of life over the years had left many speculating that al-Baghdadi had been killed or seriously wounded, though he had released several audio sermons during the time period.