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Daan Weggemans in NOS about the recent video from IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

On Monday, 25 April 2019, a video appeared on the Internet where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was seen and heard. The Islamic terror group IS has distributed this video on the internet. Baghadadi has not appeared in public since 2014.

Daan Weggemans, researcher at the Institute for Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University, calls this resurrection ‘very striking’. Why Baghdadi now reappears after years of absence, remains the question. ‘If it has been a conscious choice by IS or himself to bring out a message, that indicates a certain strategic choice’, says Weggemans.

The position of IS

Daan Weggemans believes that the appearance of the IS leader may have to do with the changed position of IS. The IS caliphate in Syria and Iraq has been defeated, but the organisation itself has not. It went underground. When IS was big, the need for Baghdadi to appear in public was perhaps less, says Weggemans. But now that the organisation is fragmented, there may be a necessity. ‘Even for people who support IS, because for many people within that organisation it was also unclear for a long time whether their leader was still alive’.

Read the full article at the NOS website (Dutch).

Source picture NOS

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