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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the jihadist 'caliph'

The leader of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, addressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the militant-held northern Iraqi city of Mosul, July 5, 2014Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the enigmatic self-proclaimed “caliph” of a state straddling Iraq and Syria, is increasingly seen as more powerful than Al-Qaeda’s chief. The leader of the powerful Islamic State (IS) militant group was on June 29 declared “caliph” in an attempt to revive a system of rule that ended nearly 100 years ago with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. In a video posted online on Saturday, purportedly the first known footage of Baghdadi, he ordered Muslims to obey him during a Ramadan sermon delivered at a mosque in the northern militant-held Iraqi city of Mosul. His appearance follows the June 29 declaration by IS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani of a pan-Islamic “caliphate” with Baghdadi as its leader.

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