The public seldom hears from the reclusive Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, who last released a speech nearly a year ago. But in his latest message, Baghdadi downplays the loss of his territorial caliphate while claiming the US has entered a new stage of “weakness.”
The Islamic State announced today that Hudhayfah al-Badri, the son of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, has been killed during a raid on Syrian and Russian forces in Homs province. Al-Badri’s death was announced via a graphic that is part of the Islamic State’s “Caravan of the Martyrs” series, which has featured deceased jihadists from around the globe. The so-called caliphate has offered few details concerning al-Badri’s purported death.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has released a video purportedly showing the young man who attacked several people with a knife in Paris yesterday. FDD’s Long War Journal cannot independently verify that the person shown was responsible for the knife attacks. However, the footage is similar to previous videos released by Amaq after a series of small-scale attacks in Europe since mid-2016.
The Islamic State’s propagandists continue to take aim at rival jihadists, including al Qaeda and Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS). A recent Islamic State video calls upon HTS fighters to defect to the so-called caliphate’s cause.
The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency has claimed responsibility for a jihadist’s assault on police in Grozny on Mar. 20. Amaq released a video of the alleged perpetrator swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi prior to his day of terror. The video is similar to a string of other clips released by Amaq since mid-2016.
The US Treasury Department and several Gulf States announced today that eight jihadists in Yemen have been designated as terrorists. The newly-sanctioned terrorists serve either the Islamic State’s Yemeni branch, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or both.
The Islamic State’s Al Bayan radio station has released several religious lectures dealing with an internal controversy over takfir, the practice of excommunicating other Muslims and denouncing “polytheists.” The so-called caliphate tried to quell the controversy by repealing a problematic memo earlier this month.
The Islamic State demolished the Great Mosque of Al-Nuri earlier today. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi delivered his first speech as “Caliph Ibrahim” at the mosque in July 2014. Just days earlier, the Islamic State declared itself a so-called caliphate, ruling over large parts of Iraq and Syria.