What do we know about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?
We know that we know little about him. He has been reported dead by the media several times.
But who is he?
He was born Ibrahim Awwadty Ibrahim Ali Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai in July 1971. According to the US State Department he also goes by the names Abu Du’a and Ibrahim ‘Awwad Ibrahim ‘Ali al-Badri.
He comes from a deeply religious family and his tribe claims descent from the Prophet Muhammad.
As far as claims to have killed Baghdadi go, ISIS leader is turning into cat with 9k lives. US, Iraq & Syria have previously claimed same. https://t.co/cSEnVCY4qn— Louisa Loveluck (@leloveluck) 16 juin 2017
What is his background?
He was born in Samarra, Iraq, to a middle class Sunni family. He obtained a BA in Islamic Studies from the University of Baghdad in 1996 and a Master’s and PhD in Koranic studies from the Saddam University for Islamic Studies.
After teaching Koranic verses to children in his local mosque, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated goal is to instill the Quran and the Sunnah as the “sole reference point for … ordering the life of the Muslim family”. Reports suggest that he was a cleric in the mosque.
After the invasion of Iraq in 2003 Baghdadi helped form the insurgent group Jaysh Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaah. He was later arrested by US forces in Falluja and sent to Camp Bucca, a detention facility near Umm Qasr, Iraq, where he was incarcerated for 10 months. It is believed that he was radicalised during this time.