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Islamic State leader Baghdadi almost certainly alive – Kurdish security official

FILE PHOTO: A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV
FILE PHOTO: A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV

Sulaimania, IRAQ (Reuters) – The top Kurdish counter-terrorism official said on Monday he was 99 percent sure that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was alive and located south of the Syrian city of Raqqa, after speculation that he had been killed.

Lahur Talabany also told Reuters that after defeat Islamic State would wage an insurgency and resemble al Qaeda on “steroids”.

The future leaders of Islamic State were expected to be intelligence officers who served under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the men credited with devising the group’s strategy.

(Reporting by Michael Georgy; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

 

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