Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the notorious leader of the Daesh* terrorist group, has resorted to altering his appearance to avoid detection and capture by the group’s numerous enemies, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reports.
According to the media outlet, a source in the Iraqi National Security Service said that al-Bagdadi is currently hiding in Syria despite making several unsuccessful attempts to escape to Iraq.
The source also claimed that the terrorist organisation’s leader changed his appearance by shortening his beard and dying his hair red, as well as by gaining weight to the point of obesity due to a lack of movement over the past two years.
The news emerged as the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attempt to dislodge Daesh forces from the town of Baghouz, the terrorist group’s last stronghold in Syria.
The source, however, stated that while al-Baghdadi had previously visited Bagouz on several occasions, at this time he is not present in the area.
The elusive Daesh leader has been reported dead numerous times in recent years, but ended up reappearing each time, though his current condition and exact whereabouts remain unknown.
In June 2017, the Russian Defence Ministry said that Baghdadi could have been killed as a result of an airstrike by the Russian Aerospace Forces, but several months later an alleged audio recording of Baghdadi emerged, casting doubt on the fate of the terrorist leader.