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Meet the world's most dangerous terrorist

Last updated on: June 18, 2014 21:41 IST

Meet the world's most dangerous terrorist

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Vicky Nanjappa

Vicky Nanjappa / Rediff.com profiles Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi aka Abu Dua, the feared leader of the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and his fierce ambitions
The American Federal Bureau of Investigation's 'most wanted' mugshot of Abu Dua carries a $10 million bounty.

The Americans had him in 2005, incarcerated him in the Camp Bucca detention facility in Iraq, and then as they prepared to leave in 2009 US military commanders deemed him fit to be shifted to Iraqi authorities.

He was soon out of jail.

Five years since then, Abu Dua is capturing city after city in Iraq leading the ruthless Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham outfit.

Baghdadi, today labelled as the world’s most dangerous terrorist, is storming Iraqi cities to establish a ‘Sunni Islamic caliphate straddling the border of Iraq and Syria’.

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Image: Images of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released by Iraq's interior ministry


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Vicky Nanjappa

According to intelligence sources, Baghdadi was humble and showed no great signs of fanaticism in his early life. Then using the alias Ibrahim Awwad Ali al Badari, he reportedly earned a doctorate in Islamic studies.

He entry into the world of terror came after the US invaded Iraq. It is said that his incarceration in jail between 2005 and 2009 changed him completely and many even believe that it was the Al Qaeda terrorists in jail who radicalised him a great deal.

Born in Samarra in Iraq, the 43-year-old rose up the Al Qaeda hierarchy in 2011 when he orchestrated the attack on the Umm al-Qura mosque in Baghdad which killed a prominent Sunni lawmaker Khalid al-Fahdawi. He also claimed responsibility for a wave of suicide attacks in August that year in Mosul city that claimed 70 lives.

When the fighting in Syria intensified in 2011, Baghdadi opened a branch there and launched his operations. He was quick to gather and send around 3,000 soldiers to fight the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria.

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Image: Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul


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Vicky Nanjappa

Soon enough, a power struggle erupted after questions were raised about Bhagdadi’s motives.

While the Al Qaeda intended only to overthrow the Assad regime, Bhagdadi wanted to increase control and impose Shariah law.

In a June 2013 audio recording, he vowed to erase Iraq's "Western-imposed border with Syria" and called on his followers to "tear apart" the governments in both countries.

In 2014, Baghdadi quit the Al Qaeda and set up the ISIS.

The ISIS gained strength, both in terms of fighters and finances.

With a fierce set of fighters -- today numbering around 12,000 -- he managed to take over some oil fields. This ensured that there was no dearth of money.

It is believed that the ISIS has assets worth $2 billion.

In its arsenal, the terror outfit reportedly also has six black hawk helicopters which were captured after intense fighting. 


Image: Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant celebrate on vehicles taken from Iraqi security forces, at a street in city of Mosul
Photographs: Reuters

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