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Why Baghdadi is Osama version 2.0

June 20, 2014 14:25 IST

Why Baghdadi is Osama version 2.0

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Vicky Nanjappa

There is not much that the world knows about the man who is capturing one Iraqi city after another. And that’s what makes Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi both mysterious and dangerous.

Vicky Nanjappa / Rediff.com reports

“I will see you guys in New York…” That was how Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi signed off as he walked out of a US detention camp in Iraq in 2009 after being incarcerated there for over four years. 

Today, Baghdadi is back to haunt the Americans even as he and his Al Qaeda-offshoot Islamic State of Iraq and Syria go about snatching city after city from Iraqi government control.

What is bothering the US is the lack of information about the now-hailed-as ‘world’s most dangerous terrorist’.

The American Federal Bureau of Investigation has been trying to dig up as much information as it can through its allies.

Terming him as the next ‘Osama bin Laden’, some intelligence agencies have warned that the radical Sunni could target either America or Americans living in other parts of the world in the time to come.

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Vicky Nanjappa

According to sources, Baghdadi had managed to leave the Americans befuddled by his tactics.

Unlike Osama, the ISIS chief is not known to send out video messages or release statements. His refusal to be seen in public or even make a statement has earned him the tag of ‘mystery terrorist’.

In January, the US claimed that it had received a recorded message from Baghdadi in which he is heard saying, ‘We will be in touch, as we will be in direct confrontation’. However, it has now been ascertained that the voice was not that of Baghdadi as he is reportedly very guarded about issuing threats to the West.

The United Kingdom is not taking him lightly either. Reports that there are around 400 ISIS operatives of British origin in the ISIS prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to say, “Nobody should be in any doubt that what we see in Syria and now in Iraq in terms of ISIS is the most serous threat to Britain's security that there is today”

"We will do absolutely everything we can to keep our people safe. That means stopping people from going, it means arresting people who are involved in plots, it means focusing our security, our policing, our intelligence effort on to that area of the world, on to those people."

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Vicky Nanjappa

However, C D Sahay, former chief of the Research & Analysis Wing, believes that Baghdadi is likely to stay away from the US for now.

“He will only battle forces in his region, but will not try and attack any other nationality or even the locals. It is clear that if he loses the support of the locals, he will be brought down in minutes,” he told rediff.com.

“Had Baghdadi tried to target them or taken their nationals hostage he would have invited air strikes. He is also aware that the US is not coming back to Iraq now. Any attempt by the US to return to Iraq would only mean more support for the ISIS from the locals and this is something that the US would avoid,” Sahay added. 

The former R&AW chief said that the global agenda of the ISIS would largely depend on their immediate success.

“The ISIS has taken hostage 40 Indians, but will not harm them. This is a publicity stunt and trust me he will not even seek ransom. If money was his criteria then he would have abducted an oil rig owner who would have given him more ransom compared to what he would have got from 40 Indians put together.”

“They are completely focused on Iraq and Syria for the moment. If they are able to dominate without being stopped, then they will think of looking beyond. Today, they do not have a worldwide agenda, but if they start to succeed then their agenda begins to expand,” he said.



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