ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi makes his first video appearance in 5 years to gloat about the Sri Lanka bombings

news

CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State's media network published on Monday a video message purporting to come from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in what would be his first appearance since declaring the jihadists' now-defunct "caliphate" five years ago.


In the 18-minute video from the Al Furqan network, a bearded man with Baghdadi's appearance says the recent Easter bombings in Sri Lanka were IS's response to losses in its last territorial stronghold of Baghouz in Syria.

The group will seek revenge for militants jailed and killed, he says.

The video would be the first from Baghdadi since he was filmed in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014, though more recent speeches have been released as audio recordings.

Written script at the start of the video dates it to earlier in April, and he can be seen sitting cross-legged on the floor giving an address to several aides with their faces covered.

The speaker looks like a slightly older version of Baghdadi than when he was pictured in 2014, addressing followers from a pulpit to declare a caliphate stretching across Iraq and Syria.


Left, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi establishes the formal 'caliphate' in Mosul in 2014; right, al-Baghdadi claims responsibility for Easter bombings in Sri Lanka in an 18-minute video released on April 29, 2019.

n the footage released on Monday, he is dressed in black robes and a beige waistcoat, with a long graying beard dyed red at the bottom. The authenticity and date of the recording could not be independently verified.

There had been conflicting reports over whether Baghdadi, an Iraqi, is still alive. But security sources have recently said he is thought to be hiding out in remote areas of Syria or Iraq.

SEE ALSO: CENTCOM Commander Gen. Votel: Isis Will Be Back

WATCH NEXT: Trump Discuses America's 'Historic Victories' Against ISIS

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claims responsibility for Easter bombings in Sri Lanka in an 18-minute video released on April 29, 2019.
Navy photo.

The Navy has identified the missing sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln as Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Slayton Saldana, who was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 5, with Carrier Air Wing 7.

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Nick Oxford)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force has suspended paying incentive fees at all 21 military housing bases operated by landlord Balfour Beatty Communities following a Reuters-CBS News report that the company falsified maintenance records at an Oklahoma base to help it qualify for millions of dollars in bonuses.

Read More Show Less
(U.S. Marine Corpss/Staff Sgt. Bryan Nygaard)

The wait is over: the Marine Corps's brand new sniper is officially ready for action.

The Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle reached full operational capacity earlier this year after extensive testing, Marine Corps Systems Command announced on Wednesday. Now, the new rifle is finally available in both scout snipers and recon Marine arsenals.

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Lisi Niesner)

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran announced on Monday it had captured 17 spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and sentenced some of them to death, deepening a crisis between the Islamic Republic and the West.

Iranian state television published images that it said showed the CIA officers who had been in touch with the suspected spies.

In a statement read on state television, the Ministry of Intelligence said 17 spies had been arrested in the 12 months to March 2019. Some have been sentenced to death, according to another report.

Read More Show Less
Photo by: Christoph Hardt/Geisler-Fotopres/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images.

One of the few things that aggravates your friend and humble narrator more than hazelnut flavored coffee is Soviet apologists.

Case in point: A recent opinion piece in the New York Times claims the Soviet space program was a model for equality, noting the Soviets put a woman into space 20 years before NASA when Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova orbited the Earth in 1963.

"Cosmonaut diversity was key for the Soviet message to the rest of the globe: Under socialism, a person of even the humblest origins could make it all the way up," wrote Sophie Pinkham just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Read More Show Less