The caliph was killed at least four times, every year between 2014 and 2017.
Is the Islamic State’s caliph al-Baghdadi dead (again)? June 17, 2016
Islamic State caliph al-Baghdadi is dead (again) June 11, 2017
Now he is reportedly raising up a new generation of Muslims to believe that committing mass murder of Infidels will bring them blessings from Allah.
“New clues bolster belief that ISIS leader is still alive – and busy with a chilling new mission,” by Joby Warrick and Souad Mekhennet, Washington Post, May 19, 2018:
His self-declared caliphate was in ruins when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi summoned some of his top aides to a meeting in eastern Syria last year. The Islamic State’s capital in Iraq had already fallen, and its Syrian headquarters was under siege.
Yet the terrorist leader had something else on his mind: schoolchildren.
The gathering near the city of Deir al-Zour was called by Baghdadi personally to discuss rewriting the terrorist group’s educational curriculum, according to an Islamic State official who was arrested in a joint operation by Turkish and Iraqi officials earlier this year. Despite the group’s dire circumstances, Baghdadi wanted to examine a subject that had less to do with immediate survival than with preserving the organization’s ideological core.
“Several top leaders were present, as well as the curricula committee, which I headed,” the captured officer, known as Abu Zaid al-Iraqi, said in a videotaped statement aired on Iraqi television.
The meeting, said to have occurred in mid-2017, was the third convening of a committee that had been a pet project of the man at the top, having been “established by caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” the officer said.
The incident provides a rare glimpse into the secluded life of the Islamic State’s leader, a man who has allowed himself to be photographed only once, in July 2014, and has spoken publicly only a handful of times since then. His prolonged absences have given wings to countless false reports portraying Baghdadi as either dead, or gravely wounded and incapacitated.
Despite such rumors, U.S. counterterrorism officials are convinced that Baghdadi is alive and is helping direct long-term strategy for the dwindling numbers of Islamic State fighters defending the group’s remaining strongholds in eastern Syria. The U.S. view is supported by intelligence intercepts and detainee interrogations, as well as writings and statements by operatives within the terrorist group’s network….
But the intercepts and reports also suggest that Baghdadi has shifted his attention in recent months to crafting an ideological framework that will survive the physical destruction of the caliphate in Iraq and Syria. In addition to his effort to revamp the group’s school curriculum, Baghdadi appears to have been behind a series of missives in recent months that sought to settle ideological disputes between factions of Islamic State fighters….
“The leadership is convinced that, even if the State has disappeared, as long as they can influence the next generation through education, the idea of the caliphate will endure,” said the operative, who agreed to an interview on the condition that his name not be revealed.
Under Baghdadi’s direction, “the values of the caliphate would be seeded in the Umma [Islamic community], and not disappear,” the operative said, “even if the caliphate would.”…