How Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Became World’s Most Wanted Man?

image via Flickr

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared himself a caliph, the religious and political head of the Muslim world, in July 2014 after capturing Mosul, the second-largest city of Iraq.

The developments, triggered by him, stirred and inspired the world with awe and fear. Baghdadi’s propaganda was as deceptive as it was captivating. It attracted not only a large number of people from the neighboring Muslim countries but also those who had been living luxurious lives in the West. People, both men and women, with extremist tendencies flocked to Iraq from various quarters of the world.

Baghdadi’s Background

Al-Baghdadi was born in 1971 with the name of Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri. There are contradictory claims regarding his education. Some even say he received a Ph.D. degree. Yet, he probably seems to have gained religious knowledge.

He joined a militant organization in the face of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The following year, he was arrested and remained a “guest” in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison for ten months. However, he was eventually released as he was not considered a serious threat by then.

Breakaway From Al Qaeda

Meanwhile, Al Qaeda was also operating in Iraq. The first head of the Iraqi chapter was al-Zarqawi. After his killing in the US-led attack, al-Masri succeeded him.

Al-Masri separated from Al Qaeda and formed a new organization, the Islamic State of Iraq. Omar al Baghdadi was named its new leader.

Later, both Omar al Baghdadi and al-Masri were killed by the US in 2010, paving the way for Abubakar al-Baghdadi. Then in 2013, another extremist organization, al-Nusra Front, too merged with the Islamic State of Iraq.

Another vital factor that led to the sudden rise of al Baghdadi was the killing of Bin Laden in 2011 that had weakened Al Qaeda. Naturally, Daesh filled the gap effectively. Soon al-Baghdadi’s rapid advance attracted the extremist elements and groups fighting in Iraq and Syria.

At its peak, Daesh had confiscated the vast lands of Iraq and Syria, bringing under its dominion as many as 10 million people. There were forty thousand individuals who had joined Daesh from overseas countries. Besides, Daesh had exported terrorism by extending its overseas branches in other countries.

2014 was the year of triumph for Daesh, during which it first captured Raqqa, a Syrian city, before making it the seat of the caliphate. In a few months, ISIS confiscated Mosul and Tikrit.

The recently captured cities provided Daesh with immense booty, worth billions of dollars. It made Daesh the wealthiest terrorist organization of the world.

Daesh Became a Serious Threat in Late 2014

By 2014, Daesh had become the most formidable challenge to the world, and the US realized it later that year. Earlier, Daesh had ruthlessly driven the long-inhabiting people of the Yazidi community from Sinjar. According to an estimate, around 5000 Yazidi were massacred, with their women reduced to slaves.

In late 2014, the US began launching operations against Daesh, which retaliated by attacking European countries. November 2015 saw carnage in Paris that left more than 130 dead.

The following year saw the Iraq forces, with the US assistance, began to reclaim its territories by driving ISIS away from several of its cities. At last, Iraqi forces recovered Mosul on July 2017, while Kurd fighter reclaimed Raqqa from the ISIS.

During these turbulent years, Daesh claimed responsibility for the inter-continental terror attacks which took place in countries including Iraq, Syria, Turkey, European countries and Pakistan.

However, it continued to diminish in both size and strength. Gradually, Daesh lost all the major cities and towns from its hand, shrinking adherents who began to withdraw from the “lost cause”.

Baghdadi’s Death, No Rumor This Time!

Several times in the past, the global media broke the news of Baghdadi’s death, all of which turned out to be false. But not this time, when it came from the horse’s mouth yesterday. President Trump had alluded to the news in an excited and encrypted message earlier:

Trump had announced in 2018 the defeat of ISIS, justifying to pull out his troops from Syria. Al Baghdadi had recently, in a video message in April this year, had to fight the enemies.

However, yesterday, on October 27, the US confirmed Baghdadi’s death as a result of US-led covert operation.

Baghdadi’s death will undoubtedly weaken Daesh, for he was not merely the head of the organization; he was its spiritual head and the Ideologue.


About Staff Writer

My focus is on politics, history, religion, and philosophy of life. I present news analysis and opinion on current affairs and occasionally produce satire articles

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