So the claim that he has been wounded turns out to be yet another false report from the mainstream media — doubtless a projection of their wishful thinking, since the Islamic State is so very inconvenient to them, posing a daily challenge to their narrative that Islam is a Religion of Peace that has been Hijacked by a Tiny Minority of Extremists. An update on this story: “Report: ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was ‘seriously wounded’ in a March airstrike — Pentagon denies,” by Pamela Engel and Michael B Kelley, Reuters, April 21, 2015:
(Reuters)The man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, during his first public appearance at a mosque in Mosul.The leader of the world’s most dangerous terrorist group has reportedly been seriously wounded in an airstrike in western Iraq, Martin Chulov at The Guardian reports.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy figurehead of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh), “suffered serious injuries during an attack by the US-led coalition in March,” according to Chulov’s sources.
Two officials, one Western and one Iraqi, confirmed to The Guardian that the airstrike targeted multiple cars in the town of Baaj in northwestern Iraq on March 18.
The Pentagon has denied the report. Defense officials told The Daily Beast that the air strike was not aimed at a high-value target and that they “have no reason to believe it was Baghdadi.” They said there was no evidence then or since then that Baghdadi was killed.
Chulov reports that officials didn’t know that Baghdadi was in one of the cars targeted in the airstrike. He was reportedly staying in that area of Iraq because he “knew from the war that the Americans did not have much cover there,” a source who is aware of Baghdadi’s movements told The Guardian.
Chulov reports that Baghdadi “is understood to have been spending much of his time in al-Baaj, about 200 miles west of the ISIS stronghold of Mosul.”Baghdadi is reportedly recovering slowly but has not resumed day-to-day control of ISIS. Since rising to power as the leader of ISIS, he has operated mostly in the shadows, appearing infrequently on video.
ISIS was reportedly masterminded by a former Iraq colonel in Saddam Hussein’s intelligence services, and the Sunni militant group has a highly structured organization. Baghdadi serves as the religious face of the franchise that evolved from Al Qaeda in Iraq.
“In 2010, Bakr and a small group of former Iraqi intelligence officers made Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir and later ‘caliph,’ the official leader of the Islamic State,” Der Spiegel reported. “They reasoned that Baghdadi, an educated cleric, would give the group a religious face.”
After Baghdadi was wounded, ISIS leaders reportedly began scrambling to figure out a succession plan because they thought he was going to die, according to The Guardian. Previous reports about Baghdadi’s death or severe injury have proved false.
Given the dominance of Saddam-era intel officials, ISIS is unlikely to be fatally crippled if Baghdadi is unable to lead….