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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: The jihadist 'caliph'

A combo of two pictures released by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (L) and by Iraqi Ministry of Interior allegedly shows photographs of Abu Bakr al-BaghdadiAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy jihadist fighting in Iraq and Syria, and newly declared leader of a “caliphate” encompassing all Muslims, is increasingly seen as more powerful than Al-Qaeda’s chief. The leader of the powerful Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group was declared Sunday the “caliph” in an attempt to revive a system of rule that ended nearly 100 years ago with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. “The Shura (council) of the Islamic State met and discussed this issue (of the caliphate)… The Islamic State decided to establish an Islamic caliphate and to designate a caliph for the state of the Muslims,” ISIL spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani said in an audio recording distributed online.

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