Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi makes his first video appearance in 5 years to gloat about the Sri Lanka bombings
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.
WATCH NEXT: Trump Discuses America's 'Historic Victories' Against ISIS
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.