Why has IS chief appeared after a five-year absence? | Daily News

Why has IS chief appeared after a five-year absence?

An Islamic State group video purporting to show supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi for the first time in five years may herald a new chapter for the jihadists, according to experts.

The release of the video Monday addresses key issues for IS, analysts told AFP, as the jihadists look ahead following the collapse of their so-called caliphate. Baghdadi has been laying low for years -- earning him the nickname “The Ghost” -- and his whereabouts have never been confirmed.

His last voice recording to his supporters was released in August, eight months after Iraq announced it had defeated IS and as the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces closed in on the jihadists in neighbouring Syria.

Monday’s video, released one month after the IS proto-state was declared defeated, “comes at a crucially important time,” said Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in the United States. - AFP



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