Reclusive ISIS Leader Reportedly Emerges from Hiding for Ramadan

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of the Sunni extremist group ISIS, is said to have delivered a Ramadan sermon in Mosul, a city which his group overran just last month. This would a rare, if not first, public appearance by the leader. From the Associated Press:

The video was released on at least two websites known to be used by the group, but it was not possible to independently verify whether the person shown was indeed the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It bore the logo of al-Furqan, the group's media arm."

Needless to say, this is quite a power move for Baghdadi. It was the first Friday service of Ramadan. It was held at the Great Mosque in Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, which ISIS recently conquered. And, at the service, Baghdadi reportedly introduced himself as Caliph Ibrahim (after the Caliphate he declared last month). Baghdadi also said he was going to appear there ahead of time. 

In the sermon, he called on other Muslims to "obey" him:

If you see that I am wrong, advise me and put me on the right track, and obey me as long as I obey God in you." 

Sounds pretty reasonable. Also this: 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.