Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The Pentagon believes Islamic State’s supreme commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is still alive, having analyzed a latest voice recording attributed to the runaway militant.
Anadolu Agency quoted Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesperson, saying that U.S. intelligence service, analyzing an audio recording circulated last week, have verified its authenticity.
He said the recording’s content showed that Baghdadi was still alive to a recent time, or at least until the time the recording was made.
“We do not have a reason to believe it is not authentic and we do not know whether it is him or not,” Pahon told the agency on September 28th. “But if it is his voice and he is referring to very recent events such as Astana talks or tension with North Korea as reported by some news outlets then it will be an indication for us that he is alive.”
Baghdadi’s whereabouts and survival have been subjects to clashing speculations he was seen in a video recording mounting the rostrum of Mosul’s Grand Nuri Mosque in June 2014 to proclaim an Islamic “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria.
Russia had said in June that Baghdadi was killed in one of its air raids in Syria, but later backtracked noting that his death was not certain.