- A trusted Libyan source only yesterday had stated that Baghdadi has been hiding in Libya since February after fleeing Syria.
This few minutes from ‘youtube’ of a total of an 18-minute video from the Al Furqan ISIS network, released by them on Monday 29th April, shows clearly Baghdadi is alive.
By way of background its important to refer to a British newspaper, The Sunday Express, of 9 days ago:
The newspaper’s headline declared:
BYLINE: BRITISH Forces were at the centre of an international mission to locate Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Libya last night. – (last night being 11th May.)
In the text of this article contains some revealing quotes, namely:
- “Intelligence that the religious fanatic has fled to war-torn Libya comes two weeks after an SAS unit had to be evacuated by the RAF following the rapid advance of Khalifa Haftar and his forces. Now the RAF is back, with a Sentinel airborne battlefield and ground surveillance aircraft and an RC 135 reconnaissance jet to join Italian and US aircraft, which are flying round-the-clock sorties. Code-named ‘ABB’, Baghdadi is now the coalition’s most wanted high-value target with a $25million (£19million) ‘kill or capture’ bounty on his head.”
- “But “reliable” intelligence from within Libya has pointed to the fugitive having targeted the war-torn country as his next base.”
- “It is reliable intel, but it needs to be verified,” said a military source. “The air component operation is delivering high-grade intelligence and we can map names and groups to people we known that have been or are part of Baghdadi’s inner circle.”
- “Other operations were also active, however, as military intelligence officers confirmed, Baghdadi could be sheltering with any of the terror group’s seven affiliates in North Africa.”
- “Last month an RAF Hercules, call sign Zulu Hotel 879, airlifted SAS soldiers out of Libya as conflict erupted between opposition forces in the cities of Tobruk and Tripoli.”
A trusted Libyan source only yesterday had stated to me that Baghdadi has been hiding in Libya since February after fleeing Syria. The source pointed out that if one freeze frames the video of Baghdadi speaking, the fabric of the mattress and cushions look very similar to products found in Libya.
Furthermore, on an even smaller point of detail, more than one Libyan source told me that the vest worn by Baghdadi in the video looks very similar to the vest worn by extremist Misrata militia head, Salah Badi, some stating further, that it is possibly the exact same vest worn (see picture below):
Another picture of Salah Badi with other well known Libyan terrorists
The speculation amongst many Libyan political observers is that the Americans have already deduced this – the fact that Baghdadi is in Libya – which is one reason why President Trump made the telephone call to Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, supporting Haftar’s fight against terrorists, in order for Haftar to focus his efforts on a ‘search and destroy’ mission of the most important public enemy number one, Baghdadi.
Similar to Obama’s obsession with Bin Laden if you will.
It is believed that Baghdadi’s Libya connection has been established based on observations by Libyan social media users on Baghdadi’s latest video appearance, pointing out the close resemblance between objects featured in the video and items found in the Libyan market.
Historical evidence of IS activity in Libya reminds us that back in 2014, Turki al-Binali, Islamic State’s senior cleric, appeared mysteriously in the important town of Sirte in Libya where he spent weeks delivering sermons and lectures in its mosques before travelling back to Syria where he was killed in 2017 by a US airstrike in Mayadin.
Importantly in the 18 minute video, Baghdadi talked about many countries including Libya and several militants sitting with Al-Baghdadi said on video they could be effective in Libya “despite losing Sirte in 2016.”
Those sections of the video were not made public but I have interviewed a few people who have seen the whole 18 minutes, and I have been assured that that this statement is contained in it.
In addition, Islamic State’s former designated Emir of its Libyan branch, Abu Nabil al-Anbari, managed to somehow travel from Iraq into Libya where he was killed in 2015 by a US airstrike in Derna, a Libyan town known for its terrorist connections and to have been a transit point for Libyan terrorists wanting to go in the past to Syria.
The last few weeks witnessed an upsurge in Islamic State’s terrorist attacks especially in southern Libya following Baghdadi’s video release nearly a month ago, his first appearance and proof of life in five years.
In the video also he orders followers in Libya to “continue bleeding out their enemies”.
The hunt for Baghdadi is compared by many to the hunt for Bin Laden.
It would also represent a US domestic political coup for President Trump to have been personally instrumental in Baghdadi’s capture or demise.